Japan Trip 2010 – Nagano

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VERY LONG and PIC HEAVY POST!

(FYI This isn’t much of a shopping post, but there is a lot of scenery, snow monkeys, and FOOD photos!~)

We took the shinkansen aka bullet train to Nagano. Nagano is where they held the winter Olympics in 1998.

In Japan, cars drive on the left side. On an escalator, you stand on the left and pass on the right. In general, you walk on the left side of the street as well because there are a lot of bicyclists riding on the sidewalks.

I wasn’t sure where to put this but I think you’ll find it interesting if you’ve never been to Japan. This is a Japanese style toilet (as shown on the sign on the top right. lol) Bathrooms always have a mix of Western and Japanese style toilets so you DO have a choice. haha.

The front of the bullet train:

Special edition bullet train with Pokemon!

All of the bullet train stations have mini convenience stores so you can buy snacks and drinks for the long journey ahead. Everytime we boarded a bullet train the trip took at least an hour because we were going across the country.

Hearty bentos:

Doraemon shaped snacks in gift boxes:

Chocolate type candies! Check out the “Crunky” chocolate!

Onigiris! The one on the bottom right that is yellow is actually an omu-rice onigiri. Tomato rice with a thin layer of egg on top!

This was my favorite section (!!!)

These Starbucks drinks were SOOO delicious. I have no idea why they don’t bring this to the states because they were so amazing. Cooling, yummy and portable!

Nagano is a beautiful city with a small-town feel once you get farther away from the train station.

I saw a TON of ads for BOSS coffee vending machines featuring Tommy Lee Jones. Apparently he has a lot of TV commercials for them.

The basic storyline is that an alien comes to earth and sees a movie of TLJ and he makes himself look like TLJ. He goes to Japan to observe humankind.

It’s so funny to see him cry because he has such a stone cold face. LOL!

Lunch time! Tempura, tonkatsu over rice, and soba noodles

Cute little frog dish at the cashier counter:

Visited a few little traditional mom-and-pop shops selling arts and crafts:

SO CUTE~!

The sts are so beautiful in Nagano. I was especially taken by the neighborhood plants! Everywhere you turn there is a pot of flowers or a beautiful Japanese maple tree.

A couple dressed for a special occasion… I was too shy to get their faces in the shot! Haha.

What I was wearing while in Nagano: a shirtdress from F21, leggings from Aritzia and Puma sneakers and I definitely had to have my hair up. It was too hot! The pink bag is a box of macarons I just had to buy :)

Took respite from the heat at a gorgeous little cafe. I had a iced matcha milk and I think my sister had a fruity tea.

Walked around a bit and saw ParaDo cosmetics at 7-11!

Shiseido Integrate cosmetics at another convenience store.. forgot the store name.

We stopped by a little stationary shop as well. These donuts are actually TAPE DISPENSERS! I don’t know why you would need so many tape dispensers but they do look good all together in a box. Hehe.

These pretty jewels are actually correcting white-out tape!!

Moving on…We stayed in a traditional inn called a ryokan. This is where you place your shoes before you go inside.

Our room with tatami mats and futons to sleep on:

Our yukatas to change into for bed. You can also wear them to breakfast.

The women’s communal bath. It seems a little weird at first to take a bath with other people at the same time, but you get over it pretty quickly. First you wash your hair and body and then you can soak in the hot tub after you are clean.

More food from the ryokan staff. Everything is healthy and vegetarian!

The next morning we set off for the train station to go to the mountains and see the snow monkeys!

Hello Kitty greeting us at the station! She was standing next to apple flavored Hi-Chew candy.

Saw another stand-up noodle bar. It smelled SO GOOD.

We took a local train into the mountains so this subway car is of an older style than the ones in the city.

From the train we took a cab to the monkey park, hiked a little bit and saw so many monkeys! They were very close to us but we weren’t allowed to touch them because they were wild. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. :)

After we got back we had a fancy dinner at a fusion restaurant. I had the spaghetti bolognese and my sister got the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce. The portions were small but the food was still amazing!

Panna cotta with strawberries for dessert!

Next post: Matsumoto! Tokyo Part II will be at the end :)

Thanks for reading!

♥ E&I