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Visiting Japan – Life in Yokohama

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    Japan Trip 2013 vol. 1 | Easy Japanese Recipes at

    While I was in Japan I captured some special moments, unique things, and delicious foods. In the next few posts, I’d like to share some of the pictures that highlight my trip home.

    Japan Trip 2013 | Easy Japanese Recipes at

    You might wonder why I am sharing my Instagram pictures. Well, that wasn’t my initial plan. I (I meant, my husband) carried my camera to Japan with this cool camera & laptop backpack he bought just for this trip (so that my hands are free to deal with the kids). I was planning on practice taking pictures, especially foods and scenery with the DSLR, away from the familiar photo shoot setup in my living room.

    However, to be honest, it was really difficult for me to carry the heavy camera and the lenses around in that dreadful heat. On top of that, we walk everywhere and travel with public transportation. My two children felt very carefree being able to run around compared to our life in California where they are stuck in a car seat everywhere we go.

    To make the story short, taking pictures with iPhone was most convenient, and there was either iPhone pictures or no pictures… I received requests from non-Instagram users to share pictures, so I’m more than happy to share some of photos from my Japan trip.

    So here we go!


    1) Here, my mom was teaching my daughter how to quilt (she’s a quilt teacher). I don’t have patience to sew but my daughter amazed us with her patience and neat sewing skill!
    2) My dad took us to Yakiniku (Japanese bbq) dinner that night. My parents were so happy to spend the time with the kids.

    Everyday I1) Both kids went to school for about 10 days in Japan. They enjoyed playing with new friends and I was surprised how easily they can adapt to a new environment.
    2) We went to a swimming pool almost every single day. They love swimming and it was a perfect activity on hot days.
    3) Here my son was reading to his grandma and sister at the local library.
    4) My home is not far from downtown Yokohama or Tokyo, but the neighborhood is surrounded by beautiful nature and greens which were preserved during city planning and development (not typical in Japan).
    5) This 3-story log house in my neighborhood was my children’s favorite hangout place. It’s basically a giant play house with nice wooden play structures including an underground tunnel.
    6) After the first two weeks of staying in Japan, kids started to complain they were tired of walking everywhere. Then grandma bought each of them a pair of Heelys (shoes with wheels) but they still haven’t quite mastered it yet.
    7) Watching Doraemon is a great way to learn Japanese! Right? I still enjoy watching it with the kids.
    8) In my home, we have one Japanese style room which floors are made of tatami mattress. The kids loved the texture and smell and liked playing in this room.

    Everyday II

    We take trains to go places (1) and went to Zoorasia (Yokohama Zoo) (2 and 4), Children’s Land (3), Nogeyama Zoo (5). It’s hard to explain how convenient it is in Japan to go to places without cars, and I thought the transit map below shows well how Tokyo/Yokohama transit (train & subway) looks like [click to enlarge]. Google maps is amazing in Japan for going from A to B.

    Yokohama Tokyo Transit MapEveryday III1) Yokohama’s symbol, Yokohama Landmark Tower.
    2) One evening I saw a gorgeous sunset from my house. I had to go out and take this picture!
    3) My kids LOVE Japanese hot springs (onsen). We took a trip to Hakone for hot spring last year, but this year we didn’t have enough time so I took them to Super Sento (modern public bath facility). The kids enjoy soaking in all different kinds of baths!
    4) Due to city regulation on fireworks, my children never had a chance to play with fireworks before in the U.S. For this trip, I really wanted them to experience (safely) playing with fireworks and they had a great time!

    Space Saver Ideas

    Japan is a small country, therefore there are lots of unique constructions built in a small area. There is a parking structure without ramp (1 and 3) and two story bicycle parking lot (2). And look, we found this very narrow office building (I think) in Osaka (4 and 5)!

    Thank you for checking my pictures. Stay tuned for vol. 2 of the Japan Trip 2013! (You will never miss a post if you subscribe to Just One Cookbook. 🙂 )

    Continue reading on Japan Trip 2013 vol.2.

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