Posted in Art, Experience, Feelings, Flower, Food, Place, Shopping, Travel

Trip to the US (Day 7)

I woke up late to catch up my sleep after many adventures at the Grand Circle.

I enjoyed breakfast; there are many variety of food to enjoy hours.


Took a tram to Bellagio Hotel to check out iconic places in Vegas.



This is famous glass ceiling by Chihuly.


Bellagio started showcasing new theme – Summer at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden.


This reminds me Menton Lenon Festival in France, but this festival is held in every February….?


There is the Guinness Certified World’s Longest  Chocolate Fountain.



And the world’s famous water fountain dancing show also at the Bellagio.


Reached to the Forum Shops.

The theme of this shopping complex is Rome and sky changes for morning, day and night.

The VenusFort in Odaiba, Tokyo applys the same concept resembling this shopping mall.




There is a spiral escalator manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric (Japan).

It was fun going ups and downs.


I cannot take any photos at Casino area.

I took these photos at the border of Casino and the Forum and these are my best photos of Casino to share.



After exploring Vegas, dressed up for Sushi dinner at the Tokyo Boys.

It’s about 15 minutes away by a car; It’s worth taking a trip there because food is good – sushi is authentic.



I also enjoyed interesting coconut and strawberry sake.


After a nice dinner, watched the show: Cirque Du Soleil O.

We were lucky because when we arrived Ballagio where the theatre is located, could watch the night version of water fountain dance.


The Cirque Du Soleil O is an amazing show.



It was already 11:30 pm when we returned to the Monte Carlo Hotel.

I was in Vegas so should play for fun.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Flower, Food, Place, River, Shopping, Travel, Waterfalls

Trip to the US (Day 2)

It seems many cargo trains passed by last night; but I didn’t wake up till my alarm went off.

I woke up feeling fresh this morning.

I had a typical American breakfast: egg, sausage, beacon, turkey ham, cheese, pan cake, yogurt, fruit and Starbucks coffee!

I departed Double Tree by Hilton Modenas for Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite is Native Americans (Indians) language meaning Brown Bear.


A bus is climbing mountains. 


On the way to Yosemite, we drove through Mariposa, which was a gold mining town in 1848 at the time of  the California Gold Rush.

Many speculators rushed to California to look for Gold especially in 1849; therefore, they are called 49ers which now named for American football team, San Francisco 49ers.

Players are definitely “49ers” because they also rush for an opportunity (ball) to make them famous and wealthy.

This town didn’t die after the California Gold Rush era died because the town became a resting area before reaching Yosemite.

The town preserves cowboy town look.


This is how they mined gold. 


On the way to Yosemite, I could see old mining points.


It took over 3 hours to reach the Arch Rock Entrance of the Yosemite National Park and also the Unesco’s World Heritage.


I am lucky because I was told that past 7 – 8 years it didn’t rain enough so waterfalls and rivers were thin and some points dried.

However, last year it rained well so I could enjoy powerful waterfalls and rivers today!

At the Tunnel View point, I overlooked the Bridalveil Falls (on the right), Half Dome (a peak in the center) and El Capitan (solid granite mountain which is popular for rock climbing on the left).


From a different point, we can take a look at Ribbon Fall next to El Captan.


And moved to another point to have a close look of Bridalveil Fall.

This fall named Bridalveil because at the bottom of the fall, the mist looks like as if bride’s veil is flipping by wind.

How romantic!


This dynamic cascade fall is 740 m length Yosemite Fall.


From the different point, I enjoyed peaceful looking Half Dome.

After viewing iconic points from different places, I became hungry.

I had a turkey burger (not a sandwich) and salad with ranch dressing at Yosemite Valley Lodge.


After lunch, I walked to the bottom of Yosemite Fall.

It’s so dynamic and powerful so I got wet at the bottom of Yosemite Fall.


On the way out of Yosemite, I enjoyed closer look of El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall.



I could feel the great power of Mother Nature by looking at many huge rocks cracked in two like this as if somebody cut it by a knife.


I bought a pair of socks and cap for the memory of Yosemite.

Agriculture is one of major industries of California.

California is famous for production of almonds, pistachios and olive oil.

This is an almond tree.


And these are almonds.


I bought these as my sourvenirs: Californian inshell almonds, inshell pistachios and olive oil.


Not only shopping, but I also enjoyed window views such as Wind Power Station (there are many as 300) and trains (could be over 100 cargo containers).



Before reaching to the hotel, I had a nice over 200 g rib eye steak and local beer, Sierra Nevada, at the Black Bear Diner.

Salad, corn bread, ice cream and coffee are also nice.

Restaurant is so cute, fully decorated with black bears!

Black bears are everywhere!


After a nice dinner, passed by Rakuten (Japanese leading e-commerce platform with 30% market share follow by Amazon (15%) and Yahoo Japan (3.2%)) and reached tonight’s hotel: the Best Western Plus Grosvenor Hotel.




Okay, my bath is ready.

Good night.

Posted in Family, Feelings, Flower, Food, Health, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Mt. Fuji, Pilgrimage, Place, River, Shopping, Shrine and Temple, Travel

The Second Trip of the 33 Kannon PilgrimageĀ 

On the way to Nara for the Second trip of the 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.

It’s nice sunny day and Mt. Fuji is so beautiful with rice field.

This stage of rice field is a symbol of spring, getting ready to be planted.

I had a candy of Ise Kusuri Honpo (Ise Medicine Shop).

It’s black sugar flavor, but it tastes a bit of herbal medicine.

Well, the name of shop already gave me the assurance because it’s from Ise where there is Ise Shrine, Japan’s first shrine.

Kyoto


Again, I took a Shinkansen for Shin-Osaka, then changed to a bus for Nara.

Yodogawa (Yodo River), Osaka 

Nara is basin and a historical city.


There are many temples and shrines because Nara used to be  the capital over 1300 years ago (in 701).

No. 7 Okadera (also known as Ryugaiji)

To reach the main temple, we need to go up the steep slope to reach a main temple.

This temple is famous for dissociate from bad luck, and temple’s Buddha is the largest Buddha made by clay.

On the way to the main temple, I hit a bell to dissociate bad luck.


Then, prayed at the main temple.

This temple is also know as Ryugaiji.

The direct translation for Ryugaiji is Dragon-Cover-Temple.

A Buddhist Monk, Gien shoho, got rid of a bad-spirit-dragon into a well and covered it.


After visiting Okadera, I had a simple and nice lunch.

I opened covers…..nice.


Rice is akamai (direct translation is red rice) – ancient rice!

This ancient rice is delicious!


After lunch, I still had time to visit Ishibutai Tumulus, a stone chamber – the tomb of Umako Soga.


No. 6 Minami Hokkeji (also known as Tsubosakadera)



This is not a Pagoda, Tahoden – a building to keep a treasure such as a Buddha.



This is a three-stories pagoda next to the main temple.


This temple is good for eyes.

I asked for a special prayer for my eyes and bought an eye drops.

Eye drops is very refreshing.



After praying at the main temple, I walked through Tenjikumon (Old India Gate) to see a big standing Kannon (she is 20 m tall) and sleeping Buddha (8 m)!



No. 8 Hasedera

This temple is very famous for many stairs and a tall Hasedera Style Kannon (10m).

Kannon is a goddess but she holds a stick that Jizo holds.

She can function as Kannon and Jizo.

I regret I’m not allowed to take any photos of Kannon but I’m so blessed that I could touch her.


This is the main temple today.


This is the original temple.


When I was going down, I could see many stairs that I climbed from this point.


Extra Temple. Houkiin 

This temple is small and feel cozy.



This tree is a good luck tree against evils.


It is a nice season to take a break because the weather is just nice – not cold nor hot – and the area is so green and air is fresh.



I checked-in at Kashihara Royal Hotel, one of Royal Hotel Group Hotels.

I’ve been introducing a room from other Royal Hotel Group hotel.

A room might look familiar because the style is almost the same; however, a room is spacious and equipped with basic needs.



Dinner was nice; I have no complaints.


I enjoyed local sake: Miyokiku.

This sake is donated to Kashihara Shrine, the largest shrine in Nara.

Of course, it’s verrrrrrry nice.


Okay, time to go sleep now.

Posted in Feelings, Flower, Food, Friends, Place, Tokyo

Ohanami (Sakura Viewing) Party@Satindoll, Nakameguro

Two weeks ago, I was here to enjoy gorgeous Sakura viewing at Megurogawa (Meguro River).

Today, Somei Yoshino is almost over.


But Yaezakura (double-flowered cherry blossom) are in the season.

Yes, I managed to Ohanami tonight.

I joined a gathering at Satindoll, Nakamegro.


I enjoyed Being with friends and eating delicious handmade food.

Master is a professional saxophonist and Mama san is a great chef.

They always welcome us with a warm hospitality. 

If you are looking for a place to enjoy food, drink and music, this is the place!