Our Ugly House

Month: July 2016

Japan Part 3 (Kyoto, Nara, Miyajima Island, and Kawachinagano)

We had seven full days to spend in Kyoto which could have easily occupied all of our time. After our stay in Kyoto we were headed to a small town outside of Osaka to wrap up in a traditional Ryokan for some relaxing after our non-top adventuring. When we booked our trip we opted to purchase a JR Pass which gives foreigners unlimited access to most of the country using the rail/bus/ferry systems. We decided to take a few day trips to get the most bang for our buck. Miyajima Island was the most epic, hands down.

Our recent highlights included Curtis getting attacked by a giant Cicada, me enjoying the best fresh oysters of my life/guzzling local craft brew, being treated like locals at our fave Tonkatsu joint (ok we ate there 3x, no shame in our game), and walking over a 100 miles through this crazy beautiful place with my person. I have laughed until it hurt everday. We both stepped out of our comfort zones, and to share that journey side by side is everything. It’s all I could have hoped for in this: “get it together people, time to move on journey”. Adventure pics below:

xo, k

Japan Part 2 (Kyoto)

We spent our first 4 days wandering Tokyo; a perfect introduction to Japan. It was beautiful to see such a vibrant city. Curtis and I loved that every street, even the tiny alleyways contained shops, businesses, and restaurants often times stacked 5 or 6 stories tall. It was a whirlwind exploring and then we were off on a Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto.

What Tokyo has in tall high rises and neon signs, Kyoto matches with old world grandiure. It’s a taste of what Japan was during a different time, with hundreds of temples and shrines. The culture feels different here, a bit more laid back. Here is a sampling of time so far:

xo, k




Japan Part 1 (Tokyo)

There is a story of loss in the book “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed. If you haven’t read it, please do so at your earliest convenience. I promise regardless of your life story something will resonate. You will feel. You will understand. You will cry.

The story that made me feel all the feels was about the loss of a child. There was a line that said, “this is a genuinely, mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly, life-altering event.” It was truly a poetic description of my loss. My child was a person that never was. My daughter. She had a name; Scout. She was, and “was” is the word that will tell her tale. I can say with absolute certainty, this was the hardest and most painful thing I have ever experienced. It’s a loss and a reminder in life that we all lose people. Everyone you ever know will eventually die. And often those deaths happen while you still live on. This particular loss taught me two things: The first is about pain and what the human body is capable of handling. The second is about choices. I have learned that there are truly two states of existence. Living and death. My husband and I had a choice when we lost our daughter; We too could die or we could continue living… What better way to live then immerse ourselves in a new place, a new culture, a new world? And that is how our adventure to Japan begins.

We have spent the last 4 days exploring Tokyo. Japan is filled with tiny streets buzzing with activity and neon lights. Everything is clean and efficient. Here are a few photos:

xo, k