My long awaited trip to Japan...

Japan in November... and some beautiful, beautiful scenery from Hibiya Park, Yoyogi Park, Ueno, etc. 

I've taken a break from blogging, but not for very much:). I've truly missed this... my small corner of the world. My little space. It's here where I can be myself... and where I relax. I write, I cook, I bake... oh, and I take photos:). It's something I love to do, whenever I have time. A place where I don't need to meet deadlines, or complete a specific project, or commit to a certain task. But when I'm away from this little corner of mine for too long a time, I find I truly miss it. It is nice to take a break once in a while... because it's true, absence does make the heart grow fonder. But I always find myself returning...

While my site is mainly (90%) focused on recipes, I've managed at times to post something out of the ordinary... though I'll confess I still manage to sneak in a recipe or two:). However, this post is all about my recent absence... at least part of it. I'll soon be posting a recipe or two to connect this post with my site:).

I've always been fascinated with Japan, well, ever since I was in high school... I touched on my experience in a previous post.  But visiting Japan has always been a dream for me... one that I hoped would one day become reality. However, I was fine if that dream would always be a dream. Not everything I desire has to be accomplished. It's best left to God's timing and will... He knows best.

God provided the way and blessed our time in Japan.... with beautiful, beautiful weather. And even though I caught a pretty awful cold, experienced an earthquake in the middle of the night (12th floor), God's merciful hand was upon us. We loved, loved Japan... the people, the food, the scenery. It far exceeded my imagination, or even my dream of what Japan would ever be like! Knowing just a couple of Japanese words, we managed to find our way through the most amazing and intricate subway system, experienced rush hour, walked the busy streets and dined in local restaurants. The cleanliness, the warm and friendly people, the honesty and safety found in Japan made our vacation a most memorable one.   

Because I would like to share a couple of Japanese recipes in the future, I decided to post a few small (literally) glimpses of our trip to Japan... to sort of connect the two. You can always click on the photos to make them a bit larger. One of the things on the top of our to-do list  for Japan, was... to eat sushi... every day:)!  And we managed to do just that... from Tsukiji market, to conveyor belt sushi restaurants, to stand up local sushi places. We also wanted to eat desserts that not only looked good, but tasted good:)... somehow we veered more toward traditional European desserts. I think it's in our blood:)...

Oh, and during my absence, we managed to spend Thanksgiving with our families... which was super nice! I don't think I cooked a single thing, well, aside from stirring a thing or two:). It's good to be back. A multitude of thanks to those of you who have left comments/emailed me in my absence, and for sharing your feedbacks on recipes. Hope you enjoy...     
Hakone... Mt. Fuji.
Tokyo City... glimpses. 
Traditions... Meiji Shrine.
Tsukiji Market... waking up early, waiting in line for 2 1/2 hours and eating some amazing super fresh sushi at Sushi Dai.
Trying out various dishes... A5 Wagyu beef, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, gyoza, takoyaki, conveyor belt sushi, beef bowl. 
Desserts... traditional, and not so traditional:).... Opera cake, Tiramisu, green tea/snowman doughnuts, most amazing apple/ pear/ berry desserts, Joel Robuchon chocolate desserts, Japanese mango dessert... and hard to find cupcakes:).