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We are finally on our way to Japan! It is the beginning of a long day of traveling (Anchorage to Seattle to Seoul to Osaka). It was raining as we drove to the airport \240at 3 am to leave for Seattle at 6.

Ryan and I had our boarding tickets switched and I got randomly selected to have my electronics swabbed. Not a fortuitous start, but we finally made it onto the plane and were able to sleep a little bit on the flight to Seattle.

We are on our way to Seoul. \24011 hours on a plane! \240Cameron and I have the window and aisle seats on a 767.

It is a little weird having everything spoken in English & Korean. \240They gave us blankets, slippers, eye masks, head phones and hot towels. \240Look at our fancy dinner menu!

Of course we had the bibimbap.

Look at the cute sesame oil and pepper paste!

Can’t wait for the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

We all tried to sleep during the 11 hour flight, but it was not very restful. \240During the last hour we had lunch one more snack.

We made it to Seoul, Korea

It is very warm here and we had to go though security again before finding our connecting gate. \240With over an hour wait before we board our next plane we took off to explore the Inchon airport.

We were not very hungry, but the girls wanted to try something so they bought done drinks. \240Cami enjoyed \240a fruit infused water while Ryan & Gabby fruit infused milk drink that tasted similar to cereal with fruit and milk.

This is the first time I have flown Korean Airlines. \240The flight attendants are all very polite and soft spoken. \240 It will be a quick ninety minutes flight to Osaka, Japan. \240We are all so worn out the we had the ham and cheese sandwich they served for dinner and all fell asleep.

I didn’t wake up until we landed.

OSAKA! \240We are at out final stop and we are worn out. \240It is very warm and muggy here even though it is 9 o’clock at night.

We filled out our travel paperwork, got our luggage, made it through customs, and headed to JR to get our rail passes for two weeks. \240It took a while to complete all of the paperwork, get our reservations, and check into the hotel, but we finally made it. \240It is shower and bed for me, good night!

It was an early start. \240We thought we had to get up at 6 for a 8:15 train, but that train was for the train out of Shi-Osaka! \240Kim realized this in the early morning and woke us all up at ~5:15 for a 6 am meet up time. \240 We all made it in time to have a quick breakfast of bacon, sausage, croissant, and oj before rushing off to catch the train. \240We ended up sitting in the open non reserved car.

Got some drinks nd a picked plum onigiri.

Heading to Hiroshima.

1-2 Matsubarachō, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 732-0822, Japan

Hiroshima-Itsukushima Shrine

We made it to Hiroshima and took our heavy backpacks to the hotel for keeping while we go to Itsukushima Shrine. \240We took a local train to catch the ferry to Miyajima Islsnd.

Once we made it to the island we were visited by some deer.

We were hungry so we stopped for some ice cream and lunch.

After eating and drinking a lot of ice cold water we headed up to the Itsukushima Shrine.

Since the tide was out we went down to the Otorii front gate.

We made it to the entrance and had to purify ourselves before entering.

The shrine dates back to 593 and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

We purchased forturnes for good studies (Ryan & Cami) and good fortune (Don & Jackie).

We also chose fortunes based on the number in the stick we chose and tied it to the hanging line so we wouldn’t have bad luck.

Unfortunately, none of us read Japanese so we were unable to translate our rolled fortunes, but we took a picture to translate later.

Otorii from the shrine.

Noh stage.

Soribashi (arched bridge).

Additional shrines and extra pictures.

One piece of matcha mochi left! \240We also had some shaved ice and ice cream since it was so hot.

Back to the hotel.

Hotel room.

Everyone was so hot and tired we all went to our rooms to relax. \240Dinner from the 7-11 around the corner. \240Hiroshima Memorial tomorrow morning with the hop-on-hop-off bus, but for now sleep.

18-11 Higashimaikochō, Tarumi-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 655-0047, Japan


We arrived in Kobe and were met by a few of Kim’s friends. \240They welcomed us with gifts and let us know that the typhoon had changed out plans for the following day.



Typhoon emergency alert on my phone.

Drink vending machine.

We all soaked our feet in the bath tub and went to bed.

Unnamed Road, 1, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken, Japan

Hiroshima Memorial & Himeji Castle

After an early night we dropped our bags off the Shinkansen (railroad station) before getting on the bus to take us to the Hiroshima Memorial.

Hiroshima Memorial

Children’s Peace Monument

Millions of paper cranes.

Pond of Peace & Flame of Peace.

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Pork katsu curry for lunch.

Heading for Himeji Castle

Hemiji Cadtle.

The walk up to the top of Hemeji Castle was steep and very hot so we needed some ice to cool down.

We were free for dinner so we went to 7-11 again.

Pretty floor we saw while shopping.

Heading to Kobe.

Japan, 〒655-0047 Hyōgo-ken, Kōbe-shi, Tarumi-ku, Higashimaikochō, 18, スカイバンケットザ・ヒルズ


We had a late start today due to the typhoon. \240Kim’s Kobe friends came by to get us around 11 and we headed to the sake museum.

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

We headed to Harbor Land Mall for lunch.

The girls found a Studio Ghibli store.

Kim’s Japanese family met us for dinner at the hotel. \240The girls enjoyed the public bath since we are packing up to head to Kyoto tomorrow.

14-15 Higashimaikochō, Tarumi-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 655-0047, Japan

Kobe to Kyoto

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is the longest span bridge in the world, located in Akashi Strait between Kobe and Awaji Island in Hyogo Pref. The total and central span lengths are 3,911m and 1991m respectively.

Picture from our hotel room.

Chinese museum.

Kobe bridge.

Candy and snacks.

Train to Kyoto:

Kyoto Tower

Nishijin Textile Center where we weaved a piece on a loom.

Bella, Trinity, Deyana, Hannah, Emma, & Tabitha (left to right, front to back).

Ivy, Cameron, Nathan, Gabby, Kim, & I (left to right, back to front).

Natalie & Ryan.

Kimono fashion show.

Lunch! \240Pork katsu.

Torii on the way to Nishiki market.

Nishiki Matket,

Snoopy is big in Japan.

Unknown shrine where Gabby, Ryan, Cameron, and I battled a legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Go.

Unnamed Road, Kyōto-shi, Japan


Ninja bus tour!


Ryoanji Temple. \240The epitome of all Zen gardens, Daiunzan Ryōanji was established by Hosokawa Katsumoto, the deputy to the Ashikaga shoguns in 1450. Katsumoto received the mountain villa of Lord Tokudaiji and invited the Zen priest Giten Genshō, who was at the time the fifth abbot of Myōshinji, to transform the villa and establish it as a temple.

The Rock Garden.

Tsukubai, wash basin of stone.

Kyoyochi Pond.

Good luck fortunes for Don & I.

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku)

The Ryūmon Taku, Carp Rock.

Fortune for Lucky (pet good health).

Fortune for Don (good job).

Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Heianjingu Shrine.

Torii.Sanjūsangen-dō Temple of 1001 statues of Buddha.

We are not allowed to take pictures of Buddha’s in the shrine, but it was very impressive.

Good luck fortune.

Kiyomizu Temple.

Drinking from fountain. \240First fountain for academics, \240second fountain for finding a significant other, and third fountain for long life. \240I chose long life and the girls chose academics.

Co-co pork katsu curry for dinner.


Fushimi Inari

We met at 7 am today to go to Fushimi Inari since it is supposed to be around 100 degrees today. \240 It was a good call since most of us turned around at the half way point. \240Natalie, Cameron, and Nathan were the only ones to make it to the top.

Shrine on the way to the bamboo forest.s

We headed back to Kyoto to catch another train to take us to Arashiyama to go to monkey mountain and the bamboo forest.

At the entrance to monkey mountain some of us chose to go to the music box store instead.

Entrance to monkey mountain.

Music box decorating. \240Cameron, Ryan, and Gabby chose Studio Ghibli songs for their music boxes, of course.

Cameron’s music box.

Ryan’s music box.

Gabby’s music box.

All the decorated music boxes including Tabatha’s and Kim’s.

On the way back to pick up our music boxes we found a candy shop.hrine on the way to the bamboo forest.

Shrine on the way to the bamboo forest.

Bamboo forest.

Shrine on the way back to the train station.

We were all suffering from a little heat exhaustion so we went back to the hotel to rest before dinner. \240 We paced up our suitcase to send to our last city Sapporo and went to Isetan at the Kyoto rail station for some ramen.


Aomori Nebuta Festival

We were picked up in Aomori by Yoko and Fumi from the Haikado Girl Scouts. \240 They took us to get ready for the Amori Nubuta festival.

Opening the sake for the telecommunications company NTT nebuta festuval.

Getting ready.

With hats!

Without hat.

Walking to the start.


Nebuta floats.


Neputa Village Museum

Zazen meditation.

Yudanyachi-4-67 Tokiwano, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken 036-1345, Japan

Girl Scout Lodge Hirosaki.

Schedule of events.Japanese tea ceremony.


Calligraphy name.

Hirosaki and Alaska Girl Scouts.

Hirosaki Shirne with host family.

Rice field art, Roman Holiday.

Neputa float.

Missing my Lucky dog.

Host family.

Traditional Sapporo hotel.

Bento dinner with Hakaido Girl Scouts.

Beautiful sunset from Haikaido Girl Scout office.

Beds for the night.

One of the many gifts received from our wonderful host family.

50-1 Atsubetsuchō Konopporo, Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 004-0006, Japan

Haikaido historical village

Shrine where we are having dinner with the Haikaido Girl Scouts.

Bella’s birthday!