Seasons of Japan – May 2017 | nihonchique

May began with me ending Golden Week in America. After wine country at the end of April, I toured around San Fransisco for the first time and it was awesome! Properly saw the Golden Gate bridge and even had a night tour of Alcatraz.

After I got back to Japan, I went on a short day trip to Arashiyama (嵐山)in Kyoto with a friend and biked up to a temple called Otagi Nenbutsu-ji ( 愛宕念仏寺)in a mountain with beautiful statues. I was then wished away for a day trip for work to Kochi again where I ate Katsuo Tataki (鰹のタタキ), a way they cook the fish and Katsuo is “Skipjack tuna”, for the first time (DELICIOUS!)

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge 🌁

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Night tour of Alcatraz!🔦😱

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Biking trip in Arashiyama led us to this beautiful temple!

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This celling is probably depicting heaven! So peaceful inside this tatami side room in the temple.

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鰹たたき!🙃🐟 Katsuo Tataki! 👍🏻

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Seasons of Japan – April 2017 | nihonchique

April started off with a bang with the first leg of NEWS’s NEVERLAND tour in Sapporo! I was so excited to go to Sapporo again after 2 years. My friend and I ate all the food there and even went to an observatory that is considered one of the best night views in Japan! (Except I went during the day… but I digress.)

Next came Cherry Blossom season with some amazing views. Spring is one of my favorite seasons in Japan, and I was so happy to experience the Cherry Blossoms in a few different places (Including my first time to see them in Shiga!)with some special people.

At the end of the month was Golden Week, and I decided to make a trip home to America and experience wine country in California for the first time before heading home to Florida for about a week. Emeritus Vineyards was by far my favorite visit and we had a very nice tour complete with a personal talk with the owner himself! Their wines are amazing and the company was awesome!

Made it to NEVERLAND!!

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NEWS NEVERLANDツアー初日、お疲れ様でした! 明日も楽しもう!♪( ´▽`)

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Chocolate Heaven! チョコ天国!🍫

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Sapporo Butter Salt Ramen! 👍🏻

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Sapporo! ❤

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Goodbye Hokkaido! NEWS, Thank you for an amazing concert. I'll be back next year for sure!! 😊

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Nighttime Cherry Blossom Find! 🌸❤

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Today's Hanami view! 今日の花見景色! ❤🌸

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桜🌸〜

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Cherry Blossom Wonderland! 🌸 桜ワンダーランド!💖

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開運さくら湯🌸 Good Fortune Cherry Blossom Hot Water Drink! Quite salty, but refreshing!

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Yakisoba under the Cherry Blossoms! 🌸💕

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Let the wining and dining begin!

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Second stop: Emeritus Vineyards! Perfect weather for their Ruby Ruby.

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Beautiful Tour of Emeritus Vineyards ending with a personal chat with the owner himself!

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Third stop: Jordan Vineyard and Winery!

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Photo Diary – March 2017 | nihonchique

March was even more insane than the previous 2 months before it were. Work took me to Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture a few times and then down to Kochi for a day trip. We also can’t forget about the beautiful Plum blossoms that bloom during March! I caught the tail end of them at Osaka Castle park and thought it was cloudy, I could be happier with how the pictures came out.

I attende Nipponbashi Street Festa for the 2nd year in a row as a Photographer and it was so much fun! There are still more photos to come on my Instagram soon that I will post periodically.

🏯+🌸=a happy Lauren! 💁🏼 幸せだ〜!

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Osaka Castle surrounded by the plum trees!

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More Plum blossoms at Osaka Castle Park!

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Bright Pink Plum Blossoms in Osaka Castle Park!

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My childlike expression as I held an Ise Lobster! 伊勢海老でかいな〜!😳

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Spring has come to Osaka! Cherry Blossoms at Daisan park in Sakai City, Osaka

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Master Roshi@Nipponbashi Street Festa!

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It's time to duel@nipponbashi street festa.

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This Harry Potter cosplay was amazing! So realistic.

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Major Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist! 鋼の錬金術師大好き!♪( ´▽`)

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Take me to NEVERLAND! 🗝

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Probably what Sakai is most famous for, this is a huge tomb in the shape of a Keyhole that was built in the 5th century during the age of “kofun”, or burial mound cultural. This is the 3rd largest tomb in the world, after the Pyramid of King Khufu in Egypt (Great Pyramid of Giza) and the tomb Qin Shi Huang in China, most famous for the terracotta warriors. This kofun tomb in Sakai is said to be the Tomb of Emperor Nintoku, but in reality there is nothing proving it to be his specifically, though it is defiantly known to be the tomb of the person in the highest seat of power at the time of it being built. As you can see, you can’t actually go inside of it, but by just standing next to it and walking around it you can feel how big it really is. To really feel the size, head up to the observatory on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall to see it from above, though not a full aerial view.

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Just a few steps away from Sakai-higashi station, on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall, there is an observatory that you can look out on the entirety of Sakai city. If you are interested in seeing how big the kofun tombs are, this is a perfect place to get a real feel for the size and the numbers that surround the city, as it can be hard to understand it from the ground. It is not a perfect bird-eye view of the tombs, but even despite that you can see the traditional culture merged with the modern city, which is a pretty amazing site. This is also a great place to take a break from sight seeing, as it has a cafe with food and also a very cute latte with latte art in the shape of a keyhole (for 440 yen), which is the shape of the kofun tombs.

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Casually hanging with Anpanman while in Kochi! 高知駅前にアンパンマンを見つかれました!

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Photo Diary – February 2017 | Nihonchique

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Japan has so many faces. This month, I was able to see another side of Japan, in a small island called Toshijima, in Mie prefecture. This was for work, but I felt so lucky to go out into nature and experience something that many tourists don’t get to experience. I also went to Ise Grand Shrine on that trip and it was one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to in Japan. You really can’t understand the feeling unless you go personally, so I highly recommend that if you get the chance, go check it out for yourself!

 

My first goshuin (special stamp) from Heian Shrine on January 29th, 2017 初御朱印!平安神社、2017年1月29日

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EMMA発売日、おめでとう〜! Happy EMMA release day! #NEWS #EMMA #ジャニーズ #jpop #japan #music

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Pearl Swan Brooch at Mikimoto Pearl Island in Toba!

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住吉大社の橋! The famous bridge of Sumoyoshi Taisha Shrine!

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Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka!

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Ginkakuji, the silver pavilion! (… that's not really silver…)

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Fox Statue at Sumiyoshi Taisha! 🦊

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伊勢神宮に参りました〜!⛩

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Eating Toba Seafood…. while it's still moving!! 😱🦐 Turn on the sound for our reaction!!

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Mysterious Vibes at Ise Grand Shrine!

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Waking up to this view yesterday was like a dream! The sleepy island of Toshijima is so beautiful. ❤

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やっと頂きました〜!🌸💖❤ Finally got my first Cherry Blossom Latte of the season! 👍🏻

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The Married Rocks at Futamiokitama Shrine in Ise.

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Krispy Kreme and Hershey's Collab at Krispy Kreme Japan! 🍩🍫

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Dragon at the entrance of Futamiokitama shrine in Ise.

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The first Tori at Naiku, Ise Grand Shrine. I feel smaller than usual! ⛩💁🏼

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Photo Diary – January 2017 | nihonchique

January  was a whirlwind of traveling for pleasure and for work. I went to see Kanjani8, went to Kyoto 2 times,  and made my first trip to Toba City in Mie. I want to keep up this pace for traveling to areas around Kansai and taking more photos, as it has been a form of healing for me and a way to direct my some of my energy into something that I have had an interest in for a while.

One of the most exciting parts of this month was starting my very first goshuinchō, or special stamp book that you can buy from shrines and temples. With this in hand, you can get a stamp at most shrines and temples that you go to, documenting all of the places that you have been to. January 2017 is the beginning of my journey to see more temples and shrines in Japan and travel more.

Throwback to Dinner on Christmas Day! How about that huge roast beef slice??😱🍖

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Some of my favorite things ❤

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冬の金閣寺! Kyoto's Golden Pavilion during the Winter!

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Stumbled Upon Sagawa Delivery's Gion branch in Kyoto! 🚲📦

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A genuine smile from me. Kyoto was so much fun on Saturday!

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鳥羽はキレイ〜! Toba is beautiful!!

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Pearl Flower Brooch at Mikimoto Pearl Island!

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Another fun day exploring Kyoto!

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Aqueducts at Nanzenji in Kyoto!

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Photo Diary – December 2016 | nihonchique

December was a very busy month for me at work, so I didn’t post much. It got cold, so I was wearing coats full time since the beginning of the month, thus the dress and coat picture.

I went home to America from December 23rd through January 3rd, and it was special to me because I hadn’t been home for Christmas since 2012. I loved seeing the Christmas tree and having a restful time at home with just my 4 member family.

I posted my Instagram top 9 photos of 2016, and it was nostalgic to see the memories that I had throughout 2016, and it really did highlight some the best memories that I had during the year, including the NEWS LIVE TOUR 2016 QUARTETTO, Onsen (Hot-spring) times, and Fall leaves in Arashiyama. I look forward to documenting  2017 through photos, and I want to take some of those pictures and blow them up and frame them in my apartment.

 

花🌹+花柄ワンピース👗 コート、ワンピース:ノエラ

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas 🎄❤️ Umeda German Christmas Market

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4人NEWSの4年!💚💛💖💜🎼 QUARTETTO LIVE TOUR DVDの発売日、おめでとう〜!

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Lola is ready for Christmas with her Christmas bandana!

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3年ぶりの実家過しクリスマス!🎄

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お母さんのクリスマスクッキー!🍪🎄

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Photo Diary – November 2016 | nihonchique

The month of November brought Autumn leaves with trips to Arima Onsen and Arashiyama! Japan has the most beautiful Autumn foliage and each year I try to find a place to go and view them. It had been a few years since I went to Arashiyama and this was the first time I had been to Arima Onsen in the Fall.

Day trip to Arima Onsen!

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Salmon Sashimi Donburi from Kuromon Market!

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Beautiful Temple in the Arima Onsen area!

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嵐山!💁🏼🍂🍁

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Fall Colored Wonderland

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Peaceful stream at Tenryu-Ji in Arashiyama!

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🍁🍂Fall at Tenryuji!🍁🍂

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Shrine near Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama ⛩🍁🍂

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