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    Nikki Ekstein
    @nikkiekstein

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Without a shadow of a doubt, the very best thing about this trip has been sharing it with my favorite person. We don't get to do this together often enough, and when we do, every day is the biggest blessing. ๐Ÿ’•
Without a shadow of a doubt, the very best thing about this trip has been sharing it with my favorite person. We don't get to do this together often enough, and when we do, every day is the biggest blessing. ๐Ÿ’•
Letting loose my inner mall rat. โ†—๏ธ๐Ÿ›๏ธโ†™๏ธ (That and my ability to tan within seconds are probably the only remaining indicators I grew up in Miami.)
Letting loose my inner mall rat. โ†—๏ธ๐Ÿ›๏ธโ†™๏ธ (That and my ability to tan within seconds are probably the only remaining indicators I grew up in Miami.)
Shibuya crossing: best seen from above. Just find a nearby mall (there are zillions), go up to the top floor, and watch the madness unfold.
Shibuya crossing: best seen from above. Just find a nearby mall (there are zillions), go up to the top floor, and watch the madness unfold.
And we're back to Tokyo! Loads has been written about the awesome Trunk hotel, and all of it is ๐Ÿ’ฏ on point.
And we're back to Tokyo! Loads has been written about the awesome Trunk hotel, and all of it is ๐Ÿ’ฏ on point.
Onsen + ๐ŸŒ… + โ›ฉ๏ธ = heaven. Pro tip: if the onsen is too crowded when you arrive, wait until 6 and try again. Locals eat dinner early and clear out, leaving you to enjoy sunset views in full, glorious privacy.
Onsen + ๐ŸŒ… + โ›ฉ๏ธ = heaven. Pro tip: if the onsen is too crowded when you arrive, wait until 6 and try again. Locals eat dinner early and clear out, leaving you to enjoy sunset views in full, glorious privacy.
Miyajima is kind of a tourist trap. But it's the prettiest, most photogenic tourist trap. And a lovely overnight if you need one slow-going day in the middle of a long, fast-paced trip. Also, it's home to oysters the size of my face.
Miyajima is kind of a tourist trap. But it's the prettiest, most photogenic tourist trap. And a lovely overnight if you need one slow-going day in the middle of a long, fast-paced trip. Also, it's home to oysters the size of my face.
More Kurashiki magic, coming right up. โœจ(PS. This place isn't just a pretty face. It's also the home of Japanese denim production which makes it very, very cool.  Also, our awesome ryokan is just out of view, to the left. Go here now.)
More Kurashiki magic, coming right up. โœจ(PS. This place isn't just a pretty face. It's also the home of Japanese denim production which makes it very, very cool. Also, our awesome ryokan is just out of view, to the left. Go here now.)
Kurashiki: possibly the most romantic little town in Japan. ๐Ÿ’
Kurashiki: possibly the most romantic little town in Japan. ๐Ÿ’
So distinctly Japanese but with all the Western comforts. Thank you @ritzcarltonkyoto for such a special stay!
So distinctly Japanese but with all the Western comforts. Thank you @ritzcarltonkyoto for such a special stay!
iโ™ฅ๏ธkyoto
iโ™ฅ๏ธkyoto
Just monkeying around. ๐Ÿ˜›
Just monkeying around. ๐Ÿ˜›
Depending on who you ask, there are only about 100 geishas left in Kyoto. 30 new trainees enroll each year but many drop out. Seeing one requires more luck than anything else! (Also: can we talk about those shoes?!)
Depending on who you ask, there are only about 100 geishas left in Kyoto. 30 new trainees enroll each year but many drop out. Seeing one requires more luck than anything else! (Also: can we talk about those shoes?!)
Made raku pottery ๐Ÿถ with a legit master craftsman, did some ๐Ÿ’ฅ sightseeing, then had a ๐Ÿ’ฃ meal and the best gin ๐Ÿน I've ever had in my life. All in all a very good day!
Made raku pottery ๐Ÿถ with a legit master craftsman, did some ๐Ÿ’ฅ sightseeing, then had a ๐Ÿ’ฃ meal and the best gin ๐Ÿน I've ever had in my life. All in all a very good day!
Living the onsen life. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’ฅ
Living the onsen life. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’ฅ
You gotta yukata.
You gotta yukata.
The dining room in our villa at Wanosato, a totally stunning ryokan just outside the historic city of Takayama. Such a knockout. Feeling lucky to be here. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ’•
The dining room in our villa at Wanosato, a totally stunning ryokan just outside the historic city of Takayama. Such a knockout. Feeling lucky to be here. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ’•
Today in Gokayama, a smaller and more intimate version of the famous thatched roof village of Shirakawa-go. (60 residents vs 500!) We explored both, but only this one had sweet Japanese grannies who wanted to teach us how to play local instruments and sing Japanese folk songs. Plus there wasn't a single tourist in sight. ๐Ÿ˜Š
Today in Gokayama, a smaller and more intimate version of the famous thatched roof village of Shirakawa-go. (60 residents vs 500!) We explored both, but only this one had sweet Japanese grannies who wanted to teach us how to play local instruments and sing Japanese folk songs. Plus there wasn't a single tourist in sight. ๐Ÿ˜Š
Kanazawa is an incredible blend of Japan old and new. And tourism here is truly bubbling up after the shinkansen was extended to the local train station in 2015. Get here soon--Kanazawa is magical but on a fast track to overtourism.
Kanazawa is an incredible blend of Japan old and new. And tourism here is truly bubbling up after the shinkansen was extended to the local train station in 2015. Get here soon--Kanazawa is magical but on a fast track to overtourism.