Adventures in Japan – Mt Fuji

on Food, Motherhood, Travel  

Some of my best memories of the previous times I’d visited Japan were staying at traditional ryokan, with tatami rooms, kaiseki style meals, yukata to wear and an onsen to bath in. This time I was set on staying near Mt Fuji, the shy mountain I’d only seen shrouded in clouds.

We had an epic six leg journey from Osaka to Lake Kawaguchi one of the Fuji Five Lakes that surround the mountain. There we splurged on a ryokan with views of Mt Fuji over the lake – the best chance (but not guarantee) of being able to see it. As luck would have it, the weather on our second day in Kawaguchiko was clear and perfect with amazing views. We went up the rope way on a nearby mountain to get more views, but the ones from our accommodation were my favourite.

We also had beautifully laid out dinners served in our room, which was perfect for Felix to roll around on the soft tatami.

This was my third time to Japan and I think I should probably explore some other parts of the world, but I loved getting to experience it again with my little family.

Adventures in Japan – Kyoto

on Travel  

From Osaka we did a short day trip to Kyoto – not really enough time to see a lot in such a beautiful and interesting city, but enough to try some great food and see a whole lot of tourists dressed in kimono. We had given up on the travel pram at this point, and were very happy with that choice when we encountered a lot of stairs and cobbled stone paths in the old town and leading up to Kiyomizu Temple.

Matcha ice and green tea
Matcha ice!

Adventures in Japan – Osaka

on Food, Motherhood, Travel  

A home style cooking class was one of our highlights in Osaka. We caught the train out to meet Osaka local Naoko, who was inspired by a cooking class in New Zealand and now shares the techniques of everyday Japanese cooking from her home.

Mum, dad and baby in stroller with tofu seller at market
They make tofu here early each morning
Man and woman cooking in kitchen
Cooking in Naoko’s kitchen

Rice balls, fried lotus, grilled salmon and konyakku

Mum, dad and baby in front of table of Japanese food

2 okonomiyaki on hot grillJapanese woman holding crying babyMochi and green tea

We first visited her local market (sadly growing smaller as more people choose to shop at supermarkets) for lotus root and handmade tofu. We then went to Naoko’s apartment to make okonomiyaki and various accompaniments. Unfortunately Felix was not keen to nap in the spare room or the travel pram as planned, so we spent most of the lesson and a good part of the meal trying to get him to calm down. But at least the food was great!

Other things we did in Osaka

Seeing whale sharks and jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.

Mum, daddy and baby in carrier in front of whale shark displayBaby in carrier held by dad, in front of an aquariumWhale shark in aquarium

Eating street food at Kuromon Market and Dotonbori.

Sashimi platterRed baby octopus on a stickMum with baby in carrier, holding a stick of mochiTakoyakiMelon bread with matcha ice creamGiant moving crab in DotonboriBusy Dotonbori street

Going on quests for a decent latte (my fave was Mill Pour, which is also next to a nice bakery; Jeff liked Brooklyn Roasting Co; we also went on a big detour one day to Mel Coffee Roaster which great and very popular!).

Outside of small coffee shopA lovely latte

Catching up with a friend in Amerikamura for lunch and strawberry dessert.

The inside of a cafe with strawberry themed decorStrawberry sundaeTwo women, one holding a baby in a carrier

Admiring Osaka Castle (and eating curry).

Dad holding baby in front of Osaka CastleOsaka CastleA plate of curry

We managed one day trip during our stay in Osaka – a quick one in Kyoto, up next.