On Wednesday Kris had an early practice which means we had the entire afternoon and evening to explore. Eventhough it was still pretty chilly out the sun was shining which made me want to be outside! We decided to go visit the Shukkeien Garden since it is within walking distance from our house. Before I completely bombard you with pictures I will give you a little history on the garden. The name of the garden means “shrink-scenery garden” and the idea of it was to collect many scenic views and display them in a smaller version. They say it is modeled after Xihu, meaning West Lake, in Hangzhou,China. The construction of the garden began in 1620, but was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. They repaired the garden to look like it did before the bombing and now around 180,000 people visit the garden each year.
This garden is absolutely gorgeous, and I can not wait to go back in a couple weeks when everything is starting to bloom. You can follow one trail all the way around the garden, or take many different paths and bridges that weave through out the landscape.
The entrance to the garden was so neat, I loved the architecture. I also was missing home a lot, ( yes, I had a minor melt down this week.) so I decided to rock my Missouri Home T.
We really need a selfie stick.
Gorgeous right? ( No, not us…the landscape below!)
If you can see in this picture there is a tree wrapped up in straw. After walking the garden I figured out that they are palm trees and it is how they keep them alive during the cold months. When the straw comes off the palms are gorgeous and green! I cant wait go back when its warmer.
After we toured most of the garden ( Sadly this was only half of my pictures) we stopped and had tea at the little cafe and gift shop. We also had to ( okay I had to) try the green tea Kit-Kat, It is a very popular candy bar here, I see it everywhere.
You have to add a selfie every now and then, right? The necklace I am wearing is the state of Missouri, my sister gave me before I left for Japan. You can order it online at franklybasic.com The bracelets are from Alex and Ani, my mom gave me the compass bangle ( so I can find my way home) they are great stacking bracelets, I own several.
After the garden we headed back down town to explore some more of the city and find a place for dinner. We first headed down to the bottom of one of the department store buildings to roam the aisles and aisles of food. I love seeing all the different foods and sweets Japan has to offer that we do not have back home. I wish I could taste all the cakes and cookies but since I cant we decided to try this….
This type of food is called Yakitori, which literally means grilled chicken on a stick, but it can be all sorts of meets and veggies. Since we can not read Japanese we just decided to pick one and decided on these little guys. ( Don’t worry I had Kris take the first bite.) They ended up being some sort of meat ball…we are guessing chicken or pork, ( haha) either way they were delicious.
We ended up walking all around down town, there is so many little side streets filled with shops and restaurants. I would say we walked and shopped for two hours and in between we took a little break at Starbucks. The Starbucks we always go to is three stories tall, we went to the third floor and enjoyed our coffee and I ate my Mochi I had bought earlier. ( From the picture I thought it was Lemon curd in the middle…..it was an actual orange. I probably wont get it again, but hey, you have to try new things!)
We ended the day down one of the little side streets at a Yakitori restaurant. I love Yakitori because I know there will be something gluten free on the menu. The restaurant was tucked upstairs on the 2nd floor of a building and you had to remove your shoes before sitting down at the table.
We ended up ordering a variety of things, but we started with these deep fried potato and cheese cakes. OH. MY. GOSH. it was like mashed potatoes with melted cheese in the middle then fried. it was so heavenly and kind of reminded me of spuds from Hi Boy 🙂 (My fancy chop sticks are from my sister and I believe she got them at World Market.)
They would bring the items out as they came off the grill and you could continue to order through out the meal. I think my favorite thing on a stick was the bacon wrapped asparagus or the marinated eggplant, but you can’t go wrong with the bacon wrapped cheese either. Lets just say we loved it all and we will definitely go back!
Kris enjoyed the grilled potatoes.
All in all, Wednesday was a good day, probably one of my favorite days so far. I am sorry for the picture overload but I just couldn’t condense it anymore. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate everyone for reading and commenting.