On Homestays and Couchsurfing

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler Sometimes people think we’re nuts. Like when we said we wouldn’t be staying in hotels during our Japan trip. Instead, we’d be staying in the homes of strangers. There’s a method to our madness though, and homestays proved to be a great way for us to travel as a … Read more

Amongst the Monkeys

A Day at Arashiyama Monkey Park, Kyoto Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler Our first day in Kyoto dawned bright and lovely. We thought about all the walking we’d done over the last few days, and decided the flat, not-much-walking-required area of Arashiyama would be perfect. So I don’t know what then possessed us to … Read more

This Is Not a Trash Can

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler “I don’t know you,” Jodie said, holding her hand over her face as I walked back over to where we were waiting for our train. “What are you talking about?” I replied. “I’m talking about all the Japanese people wondering why the white guy is taking pictures of a … Read more

The Family in Kyoto

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler Not only was Kyoto bloody chilly, we’d realized that Connor’s fleece jacket had somehow never made it to the Portland airport with us. But maybe a new jacket was just a 5-minute walk away. After surviving the tantrum on the train and arriving in Kyoto, we had a couple … Read more

Colorado in Kyoto

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler We passed by this Cafe Colorado Espresso place during our first wandering afternoon in Kyoto. We’d considered finding our way to a big shrine that on the map looked nearby, but in reality was much farther away than we really felt like walking. Sadly, we didn’t get around to … Read more

Macadamia Nuts & Crunchy Cheese

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler We first encountered these ridiculously delicious Australian snacks on our Shinkansen ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. Crunchy cheese and macadamia nuts. I’ve never seen them before. I probably shouldn’t ever see them again, because I never, ever, ever want to stop eating them. More Tokyo Toddler

Shinkansen: The Quiet Bullet of Japan

Tokyo to Kyoto on the Shinkansen Bullet Train Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler If only the incredible bullet trains of Japan were a cure for toddler tantrums. We’d ridden many a train already. The speedy and overall smooth Narita Express. The clean, efficient local Tokyo trains of the Japan Rail and Odankyu lines. But … Read more

The Tantrum on the Train

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler The trouble with a toddler’s tantrums is that you just can’t get a good picture. That’s not to say a full-on, whole-body, eardrum-shattering scream-and-thrash fest doesn’t make for a striking photo. Quite the contrary. Hell, some of Connor’s tantrums deserved a storyboard and a film crew. No, the trouble … Read more

Happy Hour Shrine

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler If only more religions worked this way. One of my favorite moments in downtown Tokyo came when we saw this in the CBD: a wee Shinto shrine, complete with red tori gate, right next to a British-style pub. But here’s the real question: is the Happy Hour sandwich board … Read more

Unborn Children May Be Loud

Follow the adventure: The Tokyo Toddler Is the pregnant woman lovingly cradling her unborn child… or is she trying to muffle the noise? Japanese trains have priority seating areas for the elderly, folks with medical conditions, pregnant women, and parents with wee kids. What I did not know, however, was that unborn children can be … Read more