My brother, mom, and I took a 1.5 week trip to Japan and Hong Kong right after Thanksgiving. I wish I took more photos while I was there, but I was too busy 1) eating 2) planning and navigating the whole trip and 3) dealing with whiny family members who dislike waking up early and walking too much. We almost had soba/ramen for every meal while I was in Japan–still not tired of it. I wish I had more time to eat more food and to explore more of Japan outside of Tokyo, but that will have to wait for the next time when I can go again, by myself.

Tokyo is probably the only city in the world that I would not hesitate to use the subway toilets. Why are they so clean? After experiencing the hygienic miracle that is the Tokyo Metro, there is no doubt that the San Francisco Muni is disgusting in comparison. Don’t even get me started about the cesspool that is BART.

We visited Tsukiji fish market and ate a ton of sushi and kebabs of fried squid and fish. We walked through the outdoors market around Asakusa shrine. We went to the temples in Kamakura. We saw the hot springs in Hakone and soaked ourselves in in hot spring water at an onsen. We went to Ginza and saw a kabuki show. This last one I got a lot of flak from my mom and brother both of whom ardently opposed to going or seeing anything akin to museums and other “boring” stuff. Well, I enjoyed it.

We also went in time to see the last bit of autumn color.

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One of the temples in Kamakura:


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This is the first time I’ve been back to Hong Kong for eight years. It certainly has gotten a lot smoggier, and it definitely was not 70 degrees in December last I remembered.

Hong Kong

green tea macarons

My first attempt at making Green Tea Macarons. Still don’t understand why they’re such a big deal. They taste good but not particularly awesome. I will probably make more just because I like the challenge.

The tutorial from the website I found the recipe was actually quite helpful.

Matcha Green Tea Macarons from Iron Whisk