Sunday, October 10, 2010

Japan is for Buddies

This past July, Captain Scott Brock of the National Geographic Sea Lion (I think that's right but I'm not about to fact check) joined me here in Seoul during our overlapping vacations. He's the best and I felt pretty damn lucky to have a little piece of home over here. After ticking off my list of Korean must-do's (doctor fish spa, a thousand weird and/or delicious meals), we booked it for Osaka and into Masa's hospitable arms.

Sadly, we had to leave him for Kyoto (better city, less awesome lodging) which totally stole my heart the way Tokyo did on my last visit. Bicycle fleets, food markets for days, and taxis with light-up heart indicators. Sigh. After Kyoto, we decided to go way up north so Brock could see Tokyo and so I could reunite with Eunah's and my adorable rickshaw driver (check~!). On the way, we stopped over in Bando, where our friend Shiori lives (as a translator) with her American carpenter husband. Unfortunately, this is where my camera battery died, so I'll upload when Brock sends me what he's got. They had an outdoor dinner party for us in their quiet, country backyard. Before sending us on our way to Tokyo, we visited a lotus farm, a dinosaur park, walked the dogs along a rice field, ate some unbelievable ramen, and I went to a REAL grocery store (Korea's just not the same). The best hosts ever...huge thanks to Shiori and her affectionately dubbed "Yeti".

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