One the grounds of Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto are a pair of two stones placed 18 meters apart. These stones can be found at the Jishu Shrine that is dedicated to the god of love and good matches, Okuninushi. It is said that if you can walk from one stone to another with your eyes closed then you will find true love. If you have someone helping you then you will need a go between for y0ur love. There were so many couples and girls trying to reach the stone. It was entertaining to watch, but at the same time it was hard to maneuver through the crowd.
While in Akihabara my friends and I lucked out with getting into the Gundam Cafe with no wait time. Usually we would see a long line of people waiting to get in. Walking into this themed cafe you are overloaded with everything Gundam ranging from old to new. The dessert in the picture is no longer an option in the cafe because they change the menu every so often. The reason is that they want to try a new design or a new Gundam series comes out and they want to make something for it. There are also goods only available in the store.
Asakusa Sensoji is a temple in Tokyo. It is the oldest one in the city and has been a popular tourist spot for many years. The iconic giant red paper lantern is one of the trademarks of the temple. The building in the picture is known as the Kaminarimon or Thunder Gate. Not only is it the symbol for Asakusa, but also for Tokyo. Sensoji is a stop that tourists have to visit because there is just so much historical value to it. There is also a shopping area in between the first and second gate that stretches for about 200 meters. It is known as the Nakamise and there is a variety of items available ranging from food to souvenirs.
Before going to Japan I had a preconceived image of the country, which was fabricated through popular media. After years of yearning to visit Japan, that wish came true when I studied abroad. Leaving the airport that preconceived image slowly changed the further we traveled through the countryside. One of the common things I saw was rice fields. I remember riding my bike with friends on roads next to these fields. We would yell TANBO TANBO (rice field) to make sure we would not accidentally fall into one. I didn’t have the chance to see the harvest season for rice.
Udon is a simple filling meal that is soup based. In the picture it has thick buckwheat noodles, thinly sliced green onions, kamaboko (fish cake), and seaweed in a mildly flavored broth. There are other versions of udon, but this one came with the set. Before going to Japan I did not know that udon can be served cold. The first time I had cold udon was at a food court in a shopping center and I was curious on the difference between the two temperatures. I feel like you get more of the flavor with the cold udon rather than the warm. I like adding a poached egg to my soup for extra taste. I recommend trying cold udon if you have never had it before.