Christy and Aaron Tracker

Follow Christy and Aaron on their backpacking trip around the world

Take a Bow

Posted by Christy in Posts on 02 20th, 2011

Lying just outside Kyoto is the small town of Nara, an exquisite village with a unique quirk: Hundreds of deer roam the public parks surrounding the temples freely, being pampered by the locals and the tourists that travel there just for them.

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country. (Extracted from the Nara Wikipedia article.)

Somewhere along the way, the deer learned a charming little trick in order to lure food out of the hands of locals and tourists…

Oh, yes. The deer bow. Am I gonna lie to you and tell you we didn’t travel to Nara, or even Kyoto, just to see these deer? No, I’m not. That is PRECISELY why we traveled eight hours west of Tokyo.

And was it worth it? Oh, yes. Even when this happened:



Memoirs of an A$$hole

Posted by Christy in Posts on 02 18th, 2011

From Tokyo, we headed  to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and the home to some of the more fabulous temples and gardens:

My favorite part of Kyoto, which I have to admit is kind of sick, was Geisha stalking in the Gion district of Kyoto. For those of you who don’t know what a Geisha is, it is kind of like one step up from being a hooker. You can read about them more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geisha

In the Gion district of Kyoto, the Geisha industry is still running, albeit just barely.
In the 1920s, there were an estimated 80,000 Geisha in Japan. In 2007, there were just 196 registered in the Gion district.

To view the few traditional Geisha left in Japan, the best time to visit Gion is between 6 and 7 PM, when they have to arrive to their first appointments. So, cluttering the quaint historic street at this time are hoards of tourists, waiting to catch a glimpse. As soon as the made-up women peer around a corner…

SNAP! SNAP! SNAP!

It is just like the paparazzi. I felt like such an a$$hole. The women held their heads down as to avoid the significant amount of flashes. But I’m not gonna lie, I loved every minute of it.

Maybe I should make a move to L.A….



KAR – A – OH – KAY

Posted by Christy in Posts on 02 16th, 2011

Karaoke (pronounced kar – a – oh – kay in Japan) – Seriously, is there anything better? OK, maybe a few things (like puppies), but really, it is a short list.

And just so you know, it is true what they say: the Japanese really love karaoke, but not the kind we know and love in America. Basically they rent out small, private rooms with their friends and sing for hours at a time. Our Couch Surfing hosts, Brenna and Micah (awesome American couple living in Tokyo), took us with a bunch of their friends for a true Japanese karaoke experience in Shinjuku in Tokyo. And, as evidenced in the videos and pictures below, it was nothing short of amazing.

I think my rendition of “Be Our Guest” was probably my favorite of the night. What are some of your favorite karaoke songs? Seriously, I would like to know…