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Yumi Okita
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#home #unpacked

#home #unpacked

Tags: home unpacked
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#summer #favoritethings

#summer #favoritethings

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Maiden voyage! #northamptontoamherst #newapartmentadventures #green #growplease

Maiden voyage! #northamptontoamherst #newapartmentadventures #green #growplease

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Apparently I have a thing for green kitchen accessories. I never noticed when they were all stashed in a drawer! #newapartmentadventures #iloveikea (at Downtown Amherst)

Apparently I have a thing for green kitchen accessories. I never noticed when they were all stashed in a drawer! #newapartmentadventures #iloveikea (at Downtown Amherst)

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Blueberry swirl mini cupcakes that will be topped with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Happy 4th of July! #redwhiteandblue

Blueberry swirl mini cupcakes that will be topped with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Happy 4th of July! #redwhiteandblue

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Morning walk to Roppongi to get some food before my flight. Will miss all the little street-side discoveries here in Tokyo 🇯🇵👘 (at L’Ateliere de Joel Robuchon(ラトリエ ドゥ ジョエル・ロブション))

Morning walk to Roppongi to get some food before my flight. Will miss all the little street-side discoveries here in Tokyo 🇯🇵👘 (at L’Ateliere de Joel Robuchon(ラトリエ ドゥ ジョエル・ロブション))

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Goodbye ramen and beers with Luke and Laurel @lbizzlefoshizzel on my last night in Japan 😥🇯🇵🍜✈️ (at Harajuku Taproom)

Goodbye ramen and beers with Luke and Laurel @lbizzlefoshizzel on my last night in Japan 😥🇯🇵🍜✈️ (at Harajuku Taproom)

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Day 8: Today was my day trip to Nara! Top L, feeding the wild deer in Nara Park. The deer come right up to you and they sell “deer cookies” around the park to feed to them. They actually get pretty aggressive and the deer in the pic with the antlers nibbled my belt loops and bit a big chunk from my map trying to get me to feed him! Top R, the beautiful private Isui-en  garden, that again, I had all to myself. Bottom L, it happens to be the Ujigawa Ukai Festival in Uji this month, and every night you can board a boat and watch them practice traditional night fishing with cormorand birds (definitely worth you-tubing!) . I was a little surprised to actually find this little remote bridge outside Kyoto, but there were some very friendly locals who helped guide me. I met a sweet old couple from Osaka on my boat and the man gave me his phone number, not sure why, but that seems to be the tradition here, right @lbizzlefoshizzel? Back to Tokyo for the last leg of my trip. I just noticed that Tokyo and Kyoto have the same exact letters but are just in different orders, that’s kinda blowing my mind!#solotraveler #gingergaigin #beautifulkyoto

Day 8: Today was my day trip to Nara! Top L, feeding the wild deer in Nara Park. The deer come right up to you and they sell “deer cookies” around the park to feed to them. They actually get pretty aggressive and the deer in the pic with the antlers nibbled my belt loops and bit a big chunk from my map trying to get me to feed him! Top R, the beautiful private Isui-en garden, that again, I had all to myself. Bottom L, it happens to be the Ujigawa Ukai Festival in Uji this month, and every night you can board a boat and watch them practice traditional night fishing with cormorand birds (definitely worth you-tubing!) . I was a little surprised to actually find this little remote bridge outside Kyoto, but there were some very friendly locals who helped guide me. I met a sweet old couple from Osaka on my boat and the man gave me his phone number, not sure why, but that seems to be the tradition here, right @lbizzlefoshizzel? Back to Tokyo for the last leg of my trip. I just noticed that Tokyo and Kyoto have the same exact letters but are just in different orders, that’s kinda blowing my mind!#solotraveler #gingergaigin #beautifulkyoto

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Totally NOT expecting to find my favorite beer in the middle of Nara Park, but apparently it’s their annual Oktoberfest! Cheers! 🇯🇵🍻#germanyinjapan #solotraveler #gingergaigin  (at Nara Park)

Totally NOT expecting to find my favorite beer in the middle of Nara Park, but apparently it’s their annual Oktoberfest! Cheers! 🇯🇵🍻#germanyinjapan #solotraveler #gingergaigin (at Nara Park)

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Day 7: this morning I got an early head start to beat the crowds of Japanese school children that have gathered en masse at every major site I’ve seen. I managed to navigate the Kyoto bus system by myself (plus the help of google maps!) and made it up to Ginkuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) and saw my first raked sand gardens. The grounds here are meticulously groomed, and swept. It kind of felt like a very beautiful amusement park. The ridges and cone shape in the top L photo are all sculped out if sand! The garden path leads you up a mountain trail to stunning view of the Temple and Kyoto city below. I tried a few yummy green tea treats at a stand just outside the gates, brown rice puff filled with a green custard and green tea soft serve ice cream that they give you with a cinnamon-flavored scoop you can eat. Wish they had more green tea flavors in the states! Afterwards, I went on to Heian Shrine and gardens, which has been my favorite site so far. The bottom L is a pic of me in one of the 4 beautiful gardens, each designed around a pond. The Bottom R is another one of the gardens and I took some time to sketch and paint. The gardens were very quiet and I pretty much had them to myself! After that I got an appointment for a tour inside the Imperial Palace grounds. It’s a very official process where you sign a form and show them your passport. The tour is only an hour, and of course thats the one hour all day that it poured with rain! Too bad my umbrella was with my bag in a locker outside the palace. It was more funny than anything, and it stopped very soon after that. I finished off my day with more shopping! @lbizzlefoshizzel Im gonna need to buy another suitcase! There was a store with tons of beautiful handmade washi (paper) that was hard to resist! #solotraveler #beautifulkyoto

Day 7: this morning I got an early head start to beat the crowds of Japanese school children that have gathered en masse at every major site I’ve seen. I managed to navigate the Kyoto bus system by myself (plus the help of google maps!) and made it up to Ginkuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) and saw my first raked sand gardens. The grounds here are meticulously groomed, and swept. It kind of felt like a very beautiful amusement park. The ridges and cone shape in the top L photo are all sculped out if sand! The garden path leads you up a mountain trail to stunning view of the Temple and Kyoto city below. I tried a few yummy green tea treats at a stand just outside the gates, brown rice puff filled with a green custard and green tea soft serve ice cream that they give you with a cinnamon-flavored scoop you can eat. Wish they had more green tea flavors in the states! Afterwards, I went on to Heian Shrine and gardens, which has been my favorite site so far. The bottom L is a pic of me in one of the 4 beautiful gardens, each designed around a pond. The Bottom R is another one of the gardens and I took some time to sketch and paint. The gardens were very quiet and I pretty much had them to myself! After that I got an appointment for a tour inside the Imperial Palace grounds. It’s a very official process where you sign a form and show them your passport. The tour is only an hour, and of course thats the one hour all day that it poured with rain! Too bad my umbrella was with my bag in a locker outside the palace. It was more funny than anything, and it stopped very soon after that. I finished off my day with more shopping! @lbizzlefoshizzel Im gonna need to buy another suitcase! There was a store with tons of beautiful handmade washi (paper) that was hard to resist! #solotraveler #beautifulkyoto

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Day 6: Today I met up with some people I met on the Shinkansen, and we checked out Nishiki Food Market where there were lots of foods I’ve never seen before, and probably will never see again! The top L is some sea cucumbers fermenting in barrels of (what I assume is) miso. They also had for sale whole pickled onions,root veggies and tomatoes in sacks of clear fluid. The pic on the top R is tiny octopus and in the head they stuffed a quail egg. I tried many of the veggie samples the various stands had out, and the roasted beans were probably my favorite. After that we visited a few sites around Kyoto, Shimogamo Shrine and Kiyomisu Temple complex. Lots of orange! That night I went to Gion to see a show in english featuring several different aspects of Japanese culture:tea ceremony, koto harp music, ikabana, puppet theatre and Kyomai, Kyoto geisha dance. I strolled around the streets of Gion before heading back to my ryokan, but unfortunately no geisha sighting! #solotraveler #beautifulkyoto

Day 6: Today I met up with some people I met on the Shinkansen, and we checked out Nishiki Food Market where there were lots of foods I’ve never seen before, and probably will never see again! The top L is some sea cucumbers fermenting in barrels of (what I assume is) miso. They also had for sale whole pickled onions,root veggies and tomatoes in sacks of clear fluid. The pic on the top R is tiny octopus and in the head they stuffed a quail egg. I tried many of the veggie samples the various stands had out, and the roasted beans were probably my favorite. After that we visited a few sites around Kyoto, Shimogamo Shrine and Kiyomisu Temple complex. Lots of orange! That night I went to Gion to see a show in english featuring several different aspects of Japanese culture:tea ceremony, koto harp music, ikabana, puppet theatre and Kyomai, Kyoto geisha dance. I strolled around the streets of Gion before heading back to my ryokan, but unfortunately no geisha sighting! #solotraveler #beautifulkyoto

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I think Japanese products are trying to send me a message #solotraveler #ilovetokyo #beautifulkyoto

I think Japanese products are trying to send me a message #solotraveler #ilovetokyo #beautifulkyoto

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Day 5: today My solo excursion began in Kyoto! Spent the afternoon at this beautiful shrine in Inari, meandering up the the stone mountain paths through thousands of torii gates. While I was sweating up a storm in my teeshirt and shorts, dozens of Japanese couples, young and old, were hiking the steep trail in fancy clothes from head to toe, without a bead of sweat in sight. Through this section of the trail I was behind a group of school children on a fieldtrip, but the farther up the trail to the top the more often I was totally alone in this beautiful mountain forest. There were signs to watch for wild monkeys, but never saw one. Took me the better part of the afternoon but made it all the way to the top! #solotraveler #gingergaigin #beautifulkyoto (at 伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi Inari Shrine))

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Arrived in Kyoto today! My ryokan has a bath/shower but I thought I would be adventurous on my first solo travel day (and after a nearly 3 hr hike) and visit a traditional bathhouse. My shoe locker at the entrance locked with a wooden key and the sweet old lady and I had quite a time understanding each other just for me to pay for entry and rent a towel (the size of 2 washcloths). I’m definitely not in Tokyo anymore! #solotraveler #gingergaigin (at Ryokan Hiraiwa Kyoto)

Arrived in Kyoto today! My ryokan has a bath/shower but I thought I would be adventurous on my first solo travel day (and after a nearly 3 hr hike) and visit a traditional bathhouse. My shoe locker at the entrance locked with a wooden key and the sweet old lady and I had quite a time understanding each other just for me to pay for entry and rent a towel (the size of 2 washcloths). I’m definitely not in Tokyo anymore! #solotraveler #gingergaigin (at Ryokan Hiraiwa Kyoto)