Sunday, February 20, 2011

Huge Update: Japan and 16th Hot Air Balloon Festival Philippines

disclaimer: please note that ALL pictures were taken by Carrie Josephine Rodriguez. Please do not use them without her permission. 

It's been a long time since I've blogged. (wonder if anyone is even reading this) Anyway, so we arrived from our two week vacation in Japan on Feb 8 :) once we landed in Manila I was happy and sad to be home. I loved Japan! the people, the scenery, and most of all the weather! I'm putting down going back to Japan on my bucket list.  We first arrived in Namba, Osaka which was absolutely shopping galore! I think if Rebecca Bloomwood was in Japan she'd have a heart attack! There are so many things to find and more. :) Our hotel was situated right in the middle of it all so it was really easy getting around from store to store from restaurant to restaurant. The people there were so kind, friendly and polite.  We spent most of our 3 days in Namba on a street called Shinsaibashi it was basically this long street that was just filled with stores.  Here are a few pictures from Namba

(if you guys know this band please contact me I'll add their name up)

facing Shinsaibashi Street

Me in my new fave hat! My friends say I look like I'm from Russia or Mongolia when I wear it. LOL

Next stop on our trip was Nara Japan which was my favorite place I was really disappointed we only spent a day in half there. :( Oh well at least we I got to spend time with Tita Midori! (Aunt Midori Purdy)
Nara was amazing it was a much more less populated place plus it just felt like the Burbs if the burbs had wild deer walking about everywhere. :) Tita Midori brought us to the Todai-ji Temple first it was absolutely beautiful! It actually started snowing while we were there but just for a short while :( My favorite place was Nara Park. :) It was just to sit and relax and appreciate the surroundings (as well as the wild deer who'd come up to you for a pet or two) :)

Todaiji temple

The next day Tita Midori took us around the small streets in Nara to really get the feel of OLD JAPAN. We were able to go inside this lady's house it was an old fashioned style japanese house! It was amazing how intricate the house was and attention to detail and function to every which way in the house. Only in JAPAN. 
See this window (above) from the outside people can't see through but from the inside people are able to see who is passing by and looking into their houses, sort of like a HUGE peep whole. 

I took this picture of Mom, my sister and Tita Midori from inside the nice woman's house. :)

After Tita Midori left Mom and I took the train to Horyuji and visited temples there. The grounds were absolutely amazing it was so big and open with a huge pond :)
(Horyuji Temple)

The next day we left Nara and headed to Uji where we looked absolutely forward to seeing the Byodo-in Temple. The Byodo-in Temple in my opinion was one of the most beautiful temples we saw in Japan. Make sure to look closely in the pictures. From across the lake you can see Buddha's face in the temple. It was absolutely beautiful! 

In Uji we had lunch in this little quaint restaurant in one of the side streets it was so cute. It was filled with little collectibles and little cute plants outside. 

After Uji we headed Kyoto where we spent our first night in this horrible hotel in the Gion area. Anyway, so the next day we moved to Citadines Kyoto. It was amazing there the staff was so friendly and the venue was so clean and modern looking. :) We spent 6 days in Kyoto and saw so many temples we saw over 10 temples while we were in Kyoto.

Ginkakuji Temple (Silver temple)

Heian Shrine

Higashi-hoganji Temple

Kinkakuji temple (Golden temple)
Roanji Temple
Kiyumizudera Temple (MUST SEE!!)

Few other temples we visited in Kyoto..

Then  we headed back to Osaka for a day before we left :) We went to the Aquarium, it was sooo cooL! 8 floors of fun!

and then when we arrived it was the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark so we last minute decided to go and check it out. So me, mum, my friend Bea my sis and her BF headed over to Clark, Pampanga to check it out.  Glad we went, it was so worth it. :)

Cheers! No sketches for this post. :) But yes, I did draw A LOT during my travels so please check my site for the update I'll be posting the sketches soon. :) Hope you all are well, thanks for checking out the blog. 
and for more pictures please check out my deviantart account and flickr. :) (links are on the sidebar)
PEACE! -Carrie

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