Japan 2012 Larger photo Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print. Print (Ads will not print.) Top Comments Rose May 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm Wow! Thanks for taking the time to share your trip stories and especially the pictures. How wonderful! Rachel May 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm What a lovely trip. Great pictures. Thank you for sharing. Celeste May 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm Hello, and welcome home. No need to apologize for time away and time off. The recipes posted in your absence were terrific, especially the asparagus soup. Taking time off is a good thing to do, however near or far one travels. Thank you for the stories and photographs. Looking forward to recipes with udon and soba and radish and seeing your friend’s cookbook, Japanese Farm Food. SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen May 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm What a special trip! Looks like it was a great time – thanks for sharing this journey with us. Zeynep May 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm I loved reading about your trip to Japan! One of my majors in college was Japanese, and I studied abroad in Kyoto for a semester. Since then, I have been back once as a tourist, but only to Tokyo. Makes me wish I could go back to Kyoto, Nara, and the countryside. :) fatim May 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm Whoa….A really nice place to visit, you are so lucky. Regards from Malaysia Lauren May 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm That looks incredible! My husband and I, along with a close friend, plan to travel to Japan later this year and I can’t wait to see Kyoto and Tokyo! I think I’ll be like you, I love Japanese food and could eat it all day every day. Hopefully my husband will be the same too! BMJ May 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm Super, super cool post! I loved this little peek behind the scenes. The photography are amazing, too! My favorite is the one taken in Ginza, Tokyo – it seems as if the whole world is bustling around you, with you in the calm center of the storm. :) There are many great recipe sites on the internet that I love, but yours is, by far, my favorite. Thank you for working so hard to create quality content. OlDave May 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm HAH! When I got to the end, I realized that my mouth was in the shape of the letter “O” and I had not been breathing for a while. Thank you. Maybe I just looked like a gold fish! Beth Sullivan May 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm I very much enjoyed your pictures and comments from Japan as they brought back memories of our own family’s stay in Yamanashi prefecture and Kyoto with our daughter-in-law’s parents. I’m sure we stayed in the same hotel near the station! I am a great fan of Japanese cooking and would love to see a recipe for okonomiyaki on this site! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely vacation with all of us! Nancy Singleton Hachisu May 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm Elise, it was lovely to see your trip unroll on these pages. I have only visited Kyoto once it is a fairly overwhelming temple experience. But I did fall in love with the Kenninji temple and could have stayed there for hours. It was fun to hang out with you in Saitama. Nancy Africanaussie May 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm I stayed in Japan for six weeks many years ago and enjoyed every minute. Okonomiyaki was our favourite meal! thanks for bringing back those happy memories. I am off to look at that indigo days blog – wow it looks amazing. Yoko May 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm I’m so happy to find out that you, my favorite recipe blogger, loves my home country, Japan! Kyoto is somewhat magical and special place for all of us Japanese. Living in Shimogamo for a year? – you must have more traditional “Yamato” (Japan in an ancient poetic way of saying) experience than I do!! Thank you very much for sharing your precious experience. Mom to 5 in Bntfl May 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm Lovely….thanks for sharing! Lori @ RecipeGirl May 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm I love that you took the time to share your trip! What a unique and fun experience for you. So nice for you to treat yourself after such an extended non-vacation. And you got to see Nancy and her life on a Japanese farm- how wonderful!! Cindy May 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm Great pics and history! Thanks for sharing your holiday! :) Jon May 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm Lived there for 2 years. Brought home more than a T-shirt. My beautiful wife and I now have a 17 month old that has been to Japan twice to see her Grandparents. Best country on earth! liloulivi May 2, 2012 at 11:00 pm Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip. I know from experience thata trip to Japan is an unforgettable experience, and one is lucky to be able to share the love of Japan with family and friends. Thx again! Margaret Marks May 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful trip. Lisa May 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm Lovely trip! I’m envious. I was lucky to visit Tokyo and Hokkaido way back in 1992 when a friend was living there and working for Sony. What a terrific cultural exchange. Kavey May 3, 2012 at 1:31 am Lovely to read about your trip! I’m currently planning our first trip to Japan, having wanted to visit for so long. I have our itinerary set but our budget has shrunk so am researching hard to find affordable accommodation that is also charming, well-located and has private bathroom facilities. If you have any tips for such in Kyoto and Tokyo, I’d be so grateful. Thank you! x Jenny May 3, 2012 at 2:00 am This is so incredibly amazing! Please do more blog posts :) Lyne May 3, 2012 at 2:32 am What an amazing trip and thanks for sharing! Hopefully you’ll share some recipes from your trip, please? Savitr May 3, 2012 at 3:07 am Thanks for the memories, new and old: We love Japan, and Kyoto is our favorite city in the world. Here’s hoping you bring back lots of exciting recipes to share! Kana May 3, 2012 at 3:29 am Thank you for sharing your photos. I enjoyed all of them very much. I am Japanese and living in FL with my American husband. I am really missing Japan and Japanese food. I am very glad that your family and you seemed to love some traditional Japanese food such as Soba and Kaiseki. I wish that my husband would also enjoy some authentic Japanese food like you did. I’ll cook some soba for my lunch today, anyway. Thanks again. Donna Sibirsky May 3, 2012 at 3:50 am Your photos and comments were so enjoyable. I felt as though I had taken the trip to Japan personally. It is a fascinating country and your blog made it ever so much more real. Donna Sibirsky Israel Diane Platt May 3, 2012 at 4:21 am Thank You for indulging!!! I also practiced Aikido for 10 yrs in (Silver Lake)area of Los Angeles… under Rod Kobiashi. I greatly admire the path you were able to go and feel a connection to Kyoto that I was not able fulfill. I have lived in Pensacola, Fl for 10 yrs now and love your recipes~ Domo Arigato Gozai Mashita Tina May 3, 2012 at 4:57 am Thank you so much for sharing! Looks like it was an amazing trip. Of course, I’m selfishly glad that you’re back so we can get some more awesome new recipes! :) Karen May 3, 2012 at 5:37 am Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. sakura May 3, 2012 at 5:46 am What a wonderful trip! Reading your most made me miss Japan terribly. I haven’t been to Kyoto since I was a child and wish I could go again as as adult so that I can appreciate it’s beauty properly. And the takenoko are huge! pat May 3, 2012 at 5:51 am WOW..fantastic! I never got past Narita! Hopefully, soon I will! Thanks for sharing! Janet Van May 3, 2012 at 5:54 am Looks like it was an amazing journey! Arigato for sharing! Lee May 3, 2012 at 6:05 am Thank you for the photos and the memories. What a wonderful trip for everyone, especially your nephew. (Oh, and I agree with you. I could eat Japanese food for the rest of my life and be quite happy.) Caroline May 3, 2012 at 6:13 am Of course we are interested! Thanks a lot for posting these beautiful pictures. I have been to Japan twice and absolutely loved it. Such a fascinating country. I am even learning a bit of Japanese for my next trip because communication is the only thing that was a bit frustrating for me during my trips :) Richard T. May 3, 2012 at 6:16 am Thanks for sharing your amazing trip! I too love the Temples & architecture of the Old World. I’m glad you all had a great time and are all home safe. Katie May 3, 2012 at 6:25 am Thank you for sharing – what a lovely place and what a fabulous trip! I have a dear Japanese friend from Kyoto, and you’ve reminded me to give her a call :-) So glad you had a great time, and what a wonderful experience for your nephew!! Ting May 3, 2012 at 6:36 am Elise, this was beautiful trip and I feel love and warm through these pictures. Thanks for sharing your trip and experience. I see a the beauty of the city through your eyes. Tomas Jose V. Fresnido, Jr. May 3, 2012 at 6:54 am Thanks, Elise. Your vacation pics and comments cemented my desire to visit Japan sooner than later. Been a Japanophile since high school and I love Japanese cuisine. Hope to see some more things Japanese in your blog. Thanks again. Margaret May 3, 2012 at 7:17 am Thanks for sharing your trip. Lovely! June May 3, 2012 at 7:45 am Great post Elise. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us. wendy whatley May 3, 2012 at 8:07 am So amazing. Thank you for sharing. I leave for my first trip to Japan on Wednesday. We are doing a several days in Tokyo and then a full week in Kyoto —- we are beside ourselves with excitement!!! Enjoyed your photos and stories very much. Anna May 3, 2012 at 8:34 am Amazing! I think it’s so cool that your nephew accompanied you. You all are beaming happiness in those photos – thanks for sharing! Linda May 3, 2012 at 8:40 am I always love visiting other countries. Glad you shared your trip with us. I am sure you had a wonderful time. Looking forward to some new recipies from you. Sarah May 3, 2012 at 9:06 am How funny!! I spent a couple of weeks in Japan in April, too, including a week in Kyoto/Osaka. And Kyoto’s okonomiyaki is one of my favorite things on the planet…that, and matcha-sakura KitKat bars. :) Glad you made it home safely! Mary May 3, 2012 at 9:18 am You studied Aikido?! You have just gotten so much cooler in my book (you already were). I’ve been a karateka and more recently a kendōka. I can’t wait to visit Japan one day for that, the food, the motorcyles….yes it’s one of my dream places to go! Noriko May 3, 2012 at 9:25 am Will we see any simply Japanese recipes? I enjoyed your pictures. Thank you for sharing. Andrea Kearney May 3, 2012 at 9:26 am Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos and details of your trip. Alana May 3, 2012 at 10:31 am I love love love that you were in Japan! I lived there for three years courtesy of the US Marine Corps. I am hoping my family will be able to go back there next year to live again. We lived in Okinawa, and I never got to travel to mainland. But I hope to someday soon. Youre pictures are amazing and make me want to go back again so badly. Japan will always have a part of me. Rabi May 3, 2012 at 10:38 am Looks like you had an amazing time! Thanks for posting. Cheryl Lee-TalbertTalbert May 3, 2012 at 11:02 am Thank you for sharing! I lived in Tokyo, Japan for three years and loved every minute of it. I love their culture and food! I too am planning on visiting again one day:) lynn May 3, 2012 at 11:05 am Wow. I just discovered your website a couple of months ago (not sure what took me so long) and thought it was fantastic. Now I appreciate it even more!!! Thanks so much for sharing so much with us. You seem like a pretty awesome person w/ a great family. I’m hoping to be able to travel to Japan within the next few years & look forward to having an amazing time as well. Thank you. Mindy May 3, 2012 at 11:10 am Amazing, I’m so glad you posted about your trip. Incredible to have a snapshot of going back in time, seeing old friends, and remembering- right down to your bones- your time there. Suelin May 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm Thank you so much for sharing your trip. I’ve never been to Japan, and it was a fascinating little peek into the country. Fran May 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm What a fabulous post and a fun look into your wonderful-sounding vacation. I can almost “feel” the way you experienced the trip through your words. How wonderful to have spent time with Nancy and I too can’t wait for her book to come out! Welcome home and the diversion was so much fun. I am an anomaly — I love looking at other people’s travel photos. :) Joyce May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm This brought back wonderful memories of our adventures in Japan with Friendship Force Internationl. We stayed 2 weeks with local families experiencing their culture and lifestyle, and visited so many amazing places. I loved the generous and courteous people, the efficiency, cleanliness, beauty – and, of course, the food. There were so many special foods, but one of our favorites was okonomiyaki. It’s my intention to have an okonomiyaki party at home in Alabama! I hope you will expound on this at length in your blog. Thanks for sharing your trip with us! Tami Fusco May 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm Arigato gozaimashita! Love this post, thanks for sharing!!! I love Japan, I think everyone should go at least once if they get a chance. And your description of okonomiyaki (translates roughly to “how you like it”) is just like mine! “Cabbage pancake with your choice of nom noms… uhm, you just have to TRY it! I SWEAR it tastes better than it sounds!” Oishii! Marichan May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm Great photos and explanations. I haven’t been to Japan since I was 10 (38 years ago!), despite the fact that all of my mother’s family is there. You’ve inspired me to make an effort to get back there again soon. Thank you for sharing! Sonia May 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm What an interesting post! I’m in the middle of reading a series of books that take place mostly in Japan (with a slight detour to Washington DC and San Francisco in a couple of the books) by a British born (Indian father and German mother) and now living in the States author. Sujata Massey captures perfectly the life of a raised in the states Japanese-American who lives and works in modern day Japan. She is also very good about describing Japanese food… Melissa Subia May 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm Thank you for sharing your trip. Wonderful pictures. Ann May 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm Elise – You make me want to go there so bad! Can’t wait to see some upcoming posts – I LOVE Japanese food. Love, Ann Susan May 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm I spent a month there on tour with my husband in ’90 – this brings it all back – thank you! AnnaJennings May 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm Wow Elise, I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. Living on the east coast hasn’t prepared me for earthquakes and that is single handedly keeping me away. thank you for sharing your pictures and glad to have you back! Karla May 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm I love the pictures and have always wanted to visit Japan. My parents went there when I was young but I didn’t get to go. I am looking forward to some Japanese recipes Thank you for the peek at a beautiful city. merd May 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm Rambling? Hardly. My friend and his wife visited Japan and brought me back a really cool tenuki print. How fun! I heard stories of “Gaijin” being shouted from the streets with accusing limbs and visual shock. Oh to experience that history, culture, and food :) Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing. Kalina Saraiva de Lima May 4, 2012 at 3:10 am Dear ELise, i visit your blog quite often. i love your recipes. i have baked your banana bread twice. it is really good. i subscribe to your blog. what a great trip to japan! hugs from England [but i am Brazilian] Kalina Fren Dee Bee May 4, 2012 at 3:32 am Nihon ga ii desu ne. Raishuu wa Nihon e ikimasu. Oh, I missed the sakura of Japan. Dawn May 4, 2012 at 5:07 am Knowing I will never be able to travel to such places, Thank You for sharing your photos and tale so I could “travel” there, too. (Also love your recipes!) Debi May 4, 2012 at 5:22 am Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it and seeing the great pictures. Sounds like the trip was a balm to your soul. You should go more often and write about it for us! Cheryl A. May 4, 2012 at 8:34 am HI there – thank you so much for sharing. I am going to forward to my husband as he loves martial arts! Welcome back!! Tricia @ Saving room for dessert May 4, 2012 at 9:29 am What a wonderful journey! Thanks so much for sharing it. I would LOVE to do that someday. My husband thinks Japan is beautiful and would love to go again. Take me! You look wonderful! Angela May 4, 2012 at 10:11 am Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and experience while in Japan! I almost felt like I was “there” with your descriptions of your visit. What a true blessing to have the opportunity to go back again. Denise Comoli May 4, 2012 at 10:46 am What delightful surprise and congratulations on taking time to spend with your family and friends. Lovely, thank you for sharing. Anne Rader May 4, 2012 at 10:52 am Thanks for sharing! Mel G. May 4, 2012 at 11:37 am What a wonderful trip!! I spent almost a week in Kyoto touring the temples and neighborhoods as well a few years ago and your photos brought back some good memories. How cool that you studied Aikido. Do you still practice? Anyway, I have some serious food envy … I too could eat Japanese 24/7. Welcome home! Emma May 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm I would also like to request a recipe for okonomiyaki if you’ve got one. My husband studied abroad in Japan twice and we have pictures together in many of the same places you do. I’d love to be able to recreate the wonderful food we had there! Jackie May 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm I lived in Japan for awhile many years ago.. It was wonderful. Seeing the photo’s and reading the description brought back tons of great memories. Oh the food! Good people, good food, good country to spend some vacation time in. Lucky you! idiosyncratic eye May 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm Thank you for sharing such an awesome trip with us all, it’s an amazing corner of the world. I’d love to visit. Your nephew is very jammy getting such a chance at 14! :) Sarah May 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm Wow! I loved your photos! It brings me back to the trip I took a few years ago to Japan, and reminds me of how much I want to go again. Definitely one of the highlights of my life. Glad you enjoyed such a culturally rich experience. And had your nephew along, too. What a wonderful thing to expose him to another culture. KevinH. May 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm It’s kind of funny that the present capital Tokyo has the same letters as the old capital Kyoto. When written in English, yes. In Kanji characters, the two cities share one character. Kyoto means “capital city” and Tokyo means “East capital”, The “Kyo” part is the same. ~Elise Rita May 5, 2012 at 4:39 am Thank you for sharing your wonderful vacation with us. My daughter loves cooking Japanese food and we will be looking for the cook book in the fall. Thank you for this mini vacation. Peter Keim May 5, 2012 at 7:55 am Thanks for bringing back a lot of increasingly (!) old memories, as I spent 2 years in Japan in the mid-’60s with the U.S. Army, and had the chance to see a number of the cities and towns, meet the people and sample the superb cuisine. Kyoto was by far my favorite place, but also got to Tokyo, Kobe, Nara, Osaka, Beppu, Nagasaki, Sapporo and a host of smaller villages on Honshu, Hokkaido and Kyushu Islands. Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to return. One large benefit to having been there way back then was the currency exchange was 360 Yen to the dollar, so things were quite inexpensive compared to today. I remember a Kobe Beef steak dinner in Kobe costing under $20, including beverages! One can only dream now….Thanks again for a great post. Jody May 5, 2012 at 8:05 am Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip! Has anyone ever told you that you look like Laura Linney? I wish! ~Elise Ruth May 5, 2012 at 8:50 am Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us, Elise. Wonderful stuff. And BTW, you DO look a lot like Laura Linney! Check out the next episode of Masterpiece Theater and see for yourself. Stephanie May 5, 2012 at 8:50 am Thank You!! I enjoyed your pictures so much…..and learning a little about Japanese culture…..a delightful surprise. Send along the recipe for cabbage pancakes!! Wayne G. Carson May 5, 2012 at 9:02 am Interesting. I spent a year in Japan in 1955-56 and enjoyed the changes. A beautiful country and wonderful people. Thanks for the blog. wc Christian Gehman May 5, 2012 at 9:07 am Thank you for this! — Christian William May 5, 2012 at 9:09 am Thanks so much for sharing your visit to Japan, it was wonderful to visit the country from the comfort of my den….. I loved every picture, every explanation…. thanks Elise judith scott May 5, 2012 at 9:16 am thank so much for showing us kyoto from the inside. what a special place these seems to be for you and now my interest is peaked just a bit more for all things ancient japanese. i’ll keep my eye out for your friends cookbook. Hinano May 5, 2012 at 9:18 am I love the simpleness of life in Japan. Mohamed Boukioud May 5, 2012 at 9:24 am Thanks for sharing these lovely memories, never been to Asia! so i envy you in good way! you deserve it, hope you have lovely time and safe journey home, all the best…. Marion May 5, 2012 at 9:43 am Thank You so much for sharing your beautiful trip with us. Your photographs show not only your interest in what you saw and where you were but also your enjoyment while there. Mara May 5, 2012 at 9:56 am Definitely no need to apologize for going on vacation! I am so jealous! My son is currently working at Disneyland in Tokyo for 7 mo. (does so every year) and I keep on telling myself that I should go visit…..well, your pics have really made an impression. He just might get a visit from Mom after all! Thank you for sharing and I will be looking forward to the Japanese cooking book!! P. S. you DO look like Laura Linney ;) Monica May 5, 2012 at 9:57 am HI Elise, it`s wonderful that you shared this photos, I am so happy for you and your trip, a very well deserved vacation! Enjoy the place which looks awesome! i love your blog and posts! Thank you! Moni. Amelia May 5, 2012 at 10:15 am Thank you for sharing! I have always wanted to visit Japan and now want it even more. Thank you! Sally May 5, 2012 at 10:28 am thanks for sharing the lovely pictures! I hope you have a safe and fun trip! It looks like a lot of fun. maria raquel considera May 5, 2012 at 10:33 am I just loved, congratulations you guys deserve this vacation and thanks for sharing with us. Penny May 5, 2012 at 10:46 am Loved your post!! We were just there in March, and are anxious to return! renee May 5, 2012 at 11:21 am Hello enjoyed your trip too Japan and all about the foods finding living in Hawaii long ago got too eat some Japan dishes, now i am into and alsways have been into the movies from their i like the lifestyles, romance ones and history when shown thanx Ann Hayes May 5, 2012 at 11:22 am Loved your pictures Elise and would love to have been there with you. My son-in-law and grandchildrem are Japanese. so might get there yet. I always wanted to visit Kyoto, the old capital city. On another note, love your recipes. Now I have to watch my carbs a bit (found out yesterday) I have to start paying attention and not just eat what is delicious. I would love to buy that book mentioned, and have bookmarked it for later consideration. Thank you. I always enjoy reading your writing, hearing about your family and ofcourse your deeelish recipes. Cheers, Ann from Ireland/Canada Chris@WeLoveChicken May 5, 2012 at 11:24 am What a fantastic trip! Japan must be a fascinating country, with a unique culture. And not to forget the delicious food they have. When will you post some recipe you’ve learnt there? JOHN May 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm thank you for letting me enjoy your trip with you, very interesting. again thank you Marta Mueller May 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures and all the comments, visiting Japan is one of my dreams. Marcus Hatch May 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm Hello, Out of jealousy, I hate you. :-) Looks like a great trip! Marcus Angela May 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm Great post! I’ve always been curious about Kyoto. Thanks for sharing! Andrea Fender-Longman May 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm Oh thank you Elsie! Such a lovely post…and no you did not ramble I wanted more. Carmen May 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm Great post! Beautiful pictures and thanks so much for sharing your adventure in Japan! Regina Ferri May 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm Absolutely overwhelming! That’s a country that I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing. Janet May 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm Great story and pics. Made me want/ need to travel to Kyoto. Thanks. DiliaLinda May 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm Thank you so very much for sharing the beauty, pictures, family and joy of your Japanese venue. It was a well appreciated “appetizer”. May you have many more enjoyable vacations. Arden Brink May 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm No apologies needed for your diversion from recipes — Unlike many of your other commenters, I don’t even have any particular “orientation” toward Japan, but I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing your pictures. I think we all like your blog so much, it’s nice to get a little “peek” into your life. Your trip sounds great. Looking forward to future posts! perla May 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm Wow! Love all the beautiful scenario, thank you for sharing, can’t wait to read the creativity of all those ideas and odors that captivate your palate and, mind. betty May 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm Lovely trip!! Any Japanese recipes coming soon? :) LRM May 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm Thank you sharing and allowing us to take a peek into your vacation. Terry May 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm Hey Elise, that sounds like a wonderful trip. Thanks so much for sharing with us! Never apologize for a vacation-arent they over all to quickly? It’s also cool you took your brother and his son- what an eye-opener that must have been for him! Travel is the greatest thing in the world. Austin had a great time with his Aunt Elise, Uncle Eddie, and Guy, though I think he would have been just as happy with fewer temples! He was well fed, so that sort of made up for all the walking we made him do. ~Elise Kathy May 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm OH, I loved this!! Wonderful!!! Thank you!! Yuka May 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm That was a nice surprise to see my favorite city, Kyoto! As you described, it is one of the most beautiful place in the world. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan, and I have not gone back there (my family still live there) for almost 5 years. I don’t miss Tokyo so much anymore, but the picture of Kyoto made me homesick a little. Thank you for posting those wonderful pictures! I love your recipes, and I loved this post more!! :) Elaine May 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm Elise, the trip looks wonderful! I looked online at Nancy’s book, the cover is just divine. The release date of the 4th September can’t come soon enough. Diane Cooper May 6, 2012 at 5:46 am Thanks for sharing Elise! Beautiful! Rich May 6, 2012 at 7:21 am Elise, Thanks for sharing! I spent 20+ years of my life in the consumer electronics business with MANY trips to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. Your post brought back a lot of very good memories. Japan is a wonderful place, but can be a little intimidating to a “westerner”. Early in my travels I learned that many of the Japanese school children were learning english and enjoyed practicing their skills with me. They became my built-in tour guides when I had free time. Thanks again for bringing back some great memories. Rose M May 6, 2012 at 7:35 am wow!splendid idea of including your wonderful trips and story in your posting.I always love to visit japan in the near future Randy Winkler May 6, 2012 at 9:17 am Sounds and looks like a nice trip. Thanks for sharing. Ezra May 6, 2012 at 9:46 am Just want to say it’s so heart-warming to see this nice family trip of yours. I have enjoyed going onto this website for many years, though most of the time I didn’t make the dishes by the recipes, the simple words, great photos and the wonderful creations have always inspired me and made my days, thank you, Elise Bauer and those who provided the recipes :) You did a great job there! Thank you Ezra! ~Elise Miren May 6, 2012 at 10:38 am Elise, That sounded like my dream holiday! This is my first time writing here, but… Just reading about it made me feel a little bit like if I had been there too. Please, next time you go to Japan let us know, I loved reading about it. And by the way the pictures are really nice too. Thanks for sharing your experience :-) Miriam May 6, 2012 at 11:24 am As a future host mom of a Japanese exchange student (she arrives end of July beginning of August for a year)I was thrilled to see your post. I have told my family after hosting 3 years of European exchange students this will be very different and our menu’s will change as well. So please post lots of recipes I can use, lol. Thanks again for a brief look into a world we know little of. Dominika Sousa May 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm Elise, I am glad you had such a good time in Japan! It would be wonderful if you could come up with some Japanese recipes, especially for fish, sushi included. Have a safe trip home! SueDoc May 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm I too appreciate your sharing the trip highlights and photos with us. It was fun for me to take a trip down memory lane too. I was in Kyoto back in 1987 when I traveled there with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus . . . as a clown! How our lives twist and turn! And yes, I too remember Okinomiyaki fondly. Thanks, too, for a great blog and a wonderful resource for recipes. Hermien Braitsch May 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience Elise. I am a big fan of yours and love your blog and recipes! Hermien Tonya May 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm I’m so hungry now. I love okonomiyaki! My husband is half-Japanese, and we’re fortunate to get it as an appetizer during the holidays. I wouldn’t mind seeing you come up with your own version here :-D Scott May 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm Never feel you have to apologize for having a life beyond a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon! I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Japan twice for a month each time. Ryoanji Temple always intrigued me, but my favorite memory is on the Ginza. I towered over everyone else (I’m a whopping 5’9) and just floated along on this sea of humanity, hoping they all knew where they were going because I surely didn’t. Your travelogue vividly reminded me of those times. Linda Pue May 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm I loved seeing the pics. I lived on Yakota AFB as a child and was able to go to Osaka as an adult as an airline employee. We took a day trip to Kyoto and I loved it. Recognized some of the pics. Thanks for sharing. I felt so comfortable in Japan and loved the smells I remembered from childhood. Arlen Nimchuk May 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm Next time come for a visit here in Naruto. Local specialities in this area include sweet potatoes, lotus roots and sudachi. Debra Kapellakis May 7, 2012 at 12:59 am Thank you for sharing your incredible trip. Natika33 May 7, 2012 at 3:31 am I read your blog regularly (you’re a gadget on my igoogle) and I was surprised to see you were recently in my neck of the woods! I agree with you – I could eat Japanese food for years and never get bored. In fact, I just went to France for a week and couldn’t wait to get back to Japanese food! I even ate takenoko tonight. ha ha! I can’t wait to see if you got some good recipes while you were here…hint hint. Either way, I’m glad you had fun! Sam May 7, 2012 at 5:18 am I’m really into Japanese food and culture at the moment, so it’s great that you’ve shared about your experience. I want to visit there someday! Terry in Colchester, VT May 7, 2012 at 5:27 am Hi Elise – Let me add my voice to the chorus of those thanking you for sharing this wonderful trip. I love traveling in the far east. It looks like I’ll have to add a trip to Kyoto to my bucket list. Can’t wait to see Nancy’s book this fall. Vicky May 7, 2012 at 6:26 am Sounds like an absolutely great trip! I’m going to Japan for the first time this September for 2 weeks (my boyfriend and I are starting off there for a 2 year backpacking trip through Europe and Asia and I couldn’t be more excited for the temples and the delicious food! michelle cudd May 7, 2012 at 8:19 am Wow! wonderful trip. thank you so much for sharing & inspiring! SHELBY May 7, 2012 at 11:17 am Enjoyed your Japan pics, good for you! Why do I see some Japanese recipes in the future? Honestly I love this site, so many great recipes, glad you are back and that you had a great time. Shawn May 7, 2012 at 11:55 am Thank you for sharing your pics with your Simply Recipes fans, looks like a beautiful place to visit. Dede Loop May 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm Thank you for sharing your visit to Japan. The pictures are beautiful. Leighann May 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm Thank you so much for sharing your vacation to Japan with us. I love the pics & love how you took the time to explain each one. I always wanted to travel to Japan, but being a single mom of 3 kids it is just a dream of mine. Your nephew was very lucky & you’re a special aunt to have taking him.Be Blessed & again thank you for sharing your vacation.. sally cameron May 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm Thanks Elise! Makes me want to go to Kyoto even more. Kent has been, but I have not. He too said it was beautiful. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Please don’t wait nine for years for another adventure! Life is too short, and there is too much wonder in the world to experience. Thanks for sharing with us another side of you. How neat that you got to live there for a year. Lovely photos, especially the one of Kenninji temple. And great you got to visit Nancy! Her farmhouse sounds fantastic. Grace May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm Elise it sounds like you enjoyed a wonderful time. I am so happy you shared photos and gave us a glimpse into Kyoto. It’s always been a dream for me to travel to Japan. I’m still dreaming. I think I would be like you wanting to visit as many temples as possible. I’m sure you enjoyed catching up with friends and making new memories. Nancy’s farmhouse is beautiful and that kitchen – wow! Thanks again for sharing. Christina May 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm Lovely! My husband obtained a degree in Japanese, speaks it fluently, and has lived in Kyoto. He loves Kyoto as much as you do. He frequently makes okonomiyaki for us at home and I’ve grown to really love it! I’m forwarding this entry to him… I know he will enjoy it immensely! Thank you! Linnea May 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm Oh, I just LOVED Kyoto. It was fun recognizing the locations of many of your photos. Yeah, we hit a lot of shrines when we were there as well. Sounds like you had an amazing time and it will be fun watching the things you learned there with your friend creep into this blog. brandi May 9, 2012 at 5:46 am It sounds like such a fantastic trip – thank you for sharing your pictures! I hope we get to chat at BHF next month; it was so nice to meet you in Orlando a few months ago. Dolly May 9, 2012 at 10:39 am I haven’t traveled or got on a plane since 1975. Your pictures of Japan made it seem if I was on a trip with you. I really enjoy the visit.thanks so much. Dolly Kalyn May 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm I really enjoyed the photos and it looks like you had such a wonderful time! Sherihan May 10, 2012 at 10:10 am Wow!! stunning pictures. Thanks for sharing Elise. I dream of going there someday. Japan is a beautiful country with a deep interesting history. Rose May 14, 2012 at 7:08 am Loved this! My son lives in Osaka I visited him for three weeks in 2009. We also spent a lot of time visiting temples in Kyoto and Nara. Japan is so beautiful I loved seeing your pictures! hrl May 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm Looks like fun! I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. What an adventure. Rick R. May 17, 2012 at 1:04 am My wife and I truly enjoy your recipies. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I’m a Part time Photographer, so you know I enjoyed the photos. Keep up the great food postings. AWSOME SITE!! Thank you Rick! ~Elise Kate @eatrecyclerepeat May 19, 2012 at 2:55 am I love this post! No need to apologize. I live in Japan, but I haven’t been to Kyoto yet. I’ll remember this when I do go. I’ve also never heard of Nancy Hachisu, but now I am really looking forward to her book! And your smoked salmon hash looks so delicious. Both your recipes and stories have value, so please keep it up! Best wishes, Kate susan May 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm fantastic, Elise! Thanks for making me feel as though I was right there with you! teresa May 23, 2012 at 11:30 am Stunning photos and what an awesome trip. Your brother, nephew and you have the same eyes! I’ll have to show my son these photos. He is really into Japanese culture, aikido and 7 Samurai. Your visit to the set must be the Universal Studios theme park equivalent. Did did you get to see 13 Assassins last year? The set looks alot like it. BTW, my cousin attended Stanford and lived in Japan as an exchange student also. wiz May 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm Do ramble more. Love to read about your travels. Julie Kaffen September 21, 2012 at 10:55 am Loved the pictures and commentary. What a wonderful vacation. Julie donutty July 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm Elise, have you tried making okonomiyaki at home? I found a couple recipes to inspire me online and tried it at home after falling in love with them at a street food fair. Of course, mine don’t quite taste the same as Gottsui’s, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. I just wondered if you’d tried them before and had any tips. Thanks! Elise July 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm I have not yet, but there are plenty of recipes online if you want to give it a try!