• japan,  meiji shrine,  tokyo

    Meiji Jingu – Tokyo, Japan

    On our first rainy and overcast morning in Tokyo, we visited Meiji Jingu in Shibuya. This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the Emperor and Empress Meiji. The original complex was built in 1920, but like many landmarks in Japan, it was destroyed during World War II and later rebuilt. Marking the entrance to the shrine complex is a huge torii gate made of cypress. Lanterns line the forested path to the main shrine area. Upon reaching this point, it is easy to forget that we had just been in a huge crowd of jostling people a few minutes ago outside Harajuku station. Along the pathway, you come across of wall…

  • eat and drink,  international travel,  japan,  osaka

    Dotonbori (Osaka, Japan)

    D?tonbori is a popular food and tourist destination in Osaka. It is composed of one street that runs parallel to the D?tonbori canal. At night, the street is lit up with bright neon signs. Over the first few days of our trip, the weather was not very pleasant, with showers and rain lasting all day, but that did not stop us from visiting this must see nightlife district. One of D?tonbori’s landmarks is the giant Glico running man sign overlooking the canal. But there are plenty of other neon advertisements to catch the eye. Sea of transparent plastic umbrellas. They are very popular in Japan! D?tonbori canal Another D?tonbori landmark…

  • cherry blossoms,  japan,  sakura

    Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

    Raisin Bread and I just returned from an amazing 16-day trip to beautiful Japan! When we booked our trip last November, we were hoping that our time in Japan would coincidence with the peak cherry blossom bloom in at least one of the cities we would be visiting. Lucky for us, we got to see cherry blossoms almost everywhere we went. Cherry blossoms in Nara Locals and tourists alike took time to admire the sakura blossoms. Symbolically, the blossoms represent the transience of life. They are stunningly beautiful but last a very short time. After a few days of rain in Tokyo, many of the fragile blossoms fell from their…

  • eat and drink,  restaurant reviews,  washington dc

    CityZen (Washington, DC)

    Raisin Bread and I did something we normally never do. We had a weeknight date night! *gasp* It was quite a feat for these old farts. We met up after work at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel to dine at CityZen.   CityZen offers three ways to dine: 1) a six course Chef’s Tasting Menu for $120, 2) a six course Chef’s Vegetarian Tasting Menu for $110 or 3) a four course menu, where you get to choose from a selection for each course, for $90. I went with the Chef’s Tasting Menu. Due to his dietary restrictions, Raisin Bread decided on the four course menu.  We were both served different…

  • active life,  race recap,  Running,  runway 5 miler

    DC Running Club The Runway 5 Miler 2014 (Race Recap)

    Saturday morning marked my last road race for a while. I will be having major surgery (more on that on a later date) in April, so I will be out of commission and then recovering for a while. I plan to put some more races on the calendar once I’m feeling better. Until then, the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November is the only thing I have scheduled for the time being.   I signed up for the DC Running Club‘s The Runway 5 Miler. It sounded like it would be so much fun and after the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon earlier in March, a small,…