Chrysanthemum in Course 2


“Chrys-tham-them-mum… Chrystham-them-mum.. Chrystham-themum!” We were on the first course of our 9 course Japanese dinner (what were we thinking, seriously??) and our server, a cute, little Japanese woman dressed beautifully in a kimono, was explaining an ingredient on the menu, chrysanthemum. We taught her how to say the English word, and she repeated it over and over. As she slide out of the room (literally slid, bowing coming in and out of the sliding doors to our room) we could hear her walking down the hallway to fetch the next course saying “Chrys-tham-them-mum… Chrystham-them-mum.. Chrystham-themum!”

I was completely filled to the brim after course 4, but we pushed onward. After two hours, we were both ready to stand up off the floors, stretch our legs, and go to bed. Chad and I are eating meat on this trip ‘traveltarians’ or ‘flexitarians’ (though we’re mostly sticking with fish) and this was a meat heavy meal so we were both feeling it. I think I’m getting enough meat for the rest of my life and I’m really missing vegetables. I’ll be happy to be going back to vegetarian once we’re back.

Gora, Hakone was so incredibly relaxing after Tokyo. It rained the entire time we were there, which was really nice because it kept the air cool and we went in the hot springs for most of the night and early morning. We also swam in the pool, which as filled with dragonflies. We read books and relaxed before we fell asleep on our futons.

Treat Yo'Self


“I like this one because it reminds me of the Hamburgerlar.” We’re inside a Picasso exhibit on the side of a mountain in Hakone, Japan and Chad is explaining to me why he likes a specific Picasso portrait. I start laughing, a bit too loudly, and we continue out into the Open Air Art Museum that sits next to our hotel on the side of a mountain.

We’re in Hakone, in the mountains close to Mount Fuji (which we could almost see from the train but weather is cloudy). We’ve made the mistake of spending far too much money on a ryoken that has a private onsen in the room but the deed has been done and we’re going to enjoy ourselves whether we like it or not. We’re here for the night, which will be nice because we need some relaxation after our Tokyo adventure. We are preparing to eat a nine course meal for dinner served in our room and then enjoy the hot springs. What can I say, we really splurged… (I’m looking for freelance work if anyone is hiring!! haha)

We ate a small lunch at a place called Woody’s, a tiny restaurant dedicated to Toy Story. The town we are in, Gora, is a really quiet town with just a few streets so after lunch, we stumbled upon a brewery and had to try a beer. It was delicious and a perfect way to spend our afternoon before our onsen experience. We’re in Hakone for one night of pure bliss and then onwards to Kyoto.