Posted by: The Travelling Mallorys | December 8, 2010

Two weeks in Japan

A dream part of this trip was to have our wedding anniversary in Japan.

It’s where we met (when we looked like this)

Early, unmarried days

Early, unmarried days

before this happened

Wedding day knees up

Wedding day knees up

and now, three years into married life, we wanted to go back and relive the memories.

We flew with a proper, non-budget airline for the first time in a long time, and it was so worth it. We had free drinks, meals and movies the whole way which was nice.

We arrived happy and refreshed – even me, and I’m never properly awake. Maybe it was all the free beer.

We were first going to stay with our friend Juki who used to live with my Grandma in England. The plan was to send her a text when we arrived, but to my shock and dismay our phones didn’t work. No amount of waving it around on the bus was getting anything like a signal.

Not to worry, we got to Inagekaigen and called Juki from a payphone. She came sprinting out of a nearby coffee shop and then started jogging towards a nearby pasta place.

Juki is always full of energy! We had a lovely dinner there and then back to hers. Juki was kind enough to let us use her place as a base for the next two weeks.

She was also kind enough to move into her living room so we could have her bedroom! She was having no arguments about it, so we did. Thanks Juki!

The next day we went into Shinjuku (and got lost, as promised in our Borneo post) and had tempura for dinner.

It was the nicest tempura I have ever had, and I’ve had a lot of tempura!

Then we went to Iida where we were both English teachers about six years ago. We met Miwako there – she used to teach us Japanese. Miwako took us to her house and made a really nice dinner of gyoza for us, then we caught up for little while with her and her daughter Mariko.

The next day we went into Iida town. I was a bit worried that all my happy memories would be tarnished by going back, but I didn’t have to – it was just as we remembered. Even better was that it was a Monday so most places were closed. That might sound like a bad thing, but it meant Iida was really quiet and we could walk around like it was film set that had shut down for the day. It really felt like walking through a memory, if that makes sense.

Yes dear. Although almost everything was closed, the best restaurant in Iida was open and we went to Melange for lunch and it was delicious!

After that we popped into my old school, which didn’t have anyone in it, but it did still have the big crocodile on the wall that I made, which made me happy.

And you didn’t stop going on about it for days afterwards! We walked back into town for a quick beer as it was starting to get a bit chilly now. As we left the bar, in classic Japanese-person style, Miwako showed up outside the coffee shop we were in with two warm coats for us. She had been driving around town looking for us becuase she thought we must be cold.

She was right, so I was very grateful to put this coat/sleeping bag on.

All warm now - thanks Miwako!

All warm now - thanks Miwako!

After a bit more walking around we got the train back to Miwako’s for dinner and beer. It was lovely.

The next day we had to leave for Tokyo. It all got a bit emotional as we said au revoir to Miwako and goodbye to Iida. We have so many special memories from our first time there, and now from our second time there too.

Next up was our Tokyo Disney anniversary spectacular! We had the first day at Tokyo Disneyland and the second day at Tokyo DisneySea.

We went on everything! It was awesome. The best ones for me were Captain Eo with Michael Jackson, The Tower of Terror and Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

I agree, but I would swap Captain Eo for It’s a Small World because they had Christmasified it, and I love Christmas.

Us at DisneySea

Us at DisneySea

You can see all our Disney Anniversary Spectacular photos on Flickr. After two fun-packed days we went back to Juki’s completely exhausted!

The next day we saw Koichi who is one of my old friends. We had a really nice dinner with him, his son and nephew in Tokyo. The following day we met Maki and Su for lunch in Tokyo and then the next day we travelled to Koganei to see Gavin’s old students Mikie and Takeshi. Busy times!

Erin with the Koichi crew

Erin with the Koichi crew

Gavin, Maki and Su

Gavin, Maki and Su

Busy times indeed Mrs Wife. The trip to see them was nice.

You slept the whole way!

That’s what I liked about it! Anyroad, we met Mikie at the station and then she took to us and her friend Natsuko to a restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was down a bumpy, secluded lane so we expected it to be pretty small and quiet, but it was actually really big and busy!

After that we went to see one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.

Natsuko, Erin, Mikie and the giant tanuki with it's willy poking out

Natsuko, Erin, Mikie and the giant tanuki with it's willy poking out

I’ll second that!

In the evening Takeshi came home and we ate a big feast and talked for hours. It was great fun.

The next day we went to Nikko. Autumn was really kicking in and all the trees were beautiful. Also beautiful was the lunch we went for. It was a multi-course Japanese vegetarian feast in a restaurant overlooking a beautiful garden. Lovely food, lovely setting. Thanks Mikie and Takeshi!

Outside the restaurant

Outside the restaurant

We left the next day, and it got a bit emotional again! This trip to Japan really showed how much the people we met there mean to us and what a special place Japan holds in our hearts.

We met Juki for a farewell Korean meal in Tokyo where we all ordered way more food than we could eat and then we went home, said goodnight and goodbye.

The next day we flew to Cairns to start our Australian adventure. More on that soon.

Check out Worthing versus Japan here, as well as all our Japan photos on Flickr.



  1. Hi,
    You were really busy every day in Japan.
    I have a lot of places to be shown to you.
    Please come to Japan again soon!

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