Thursday, November 19, 2015

Japan Visit - Bus Tour

While most of my visit to Japan was spent staying with family, my mom and I did get a chance to go on a one-day bus tour to spend some time outside of Tokyo.  Unfortunately it rained pretty much all day, but we all made the best of it and had a great time.  In my experience I've found that bus tours in Japan are always packed with a lot of activities, sightseeing spots, and plenty of food haha.

The bus tour that we chose included lunch at a hotel, a small local art museum, tea and cheesecake at a cheesecake factory, "all you can fit" dorayaki (red bean paste pancake snacks), jellies, as well as local carrots, potatoes, and onions, into 2 separate bags, and all you can pick and eat Pione grapes. So as you can see, basically all food mixed with a bit of sightseeing haha.  We also stopped at some local rest areas in between, which is always fun in Japan because there's a ton of gifts and things to look at.  Even thought it was raining, it was still fun getting to see things outside of Tokyo all in one day!

These Shinshu apple souvenirs were so cute, especially the Arukuma apple-bear mascot!

The tea and cheesecakes at the cheesecake factory were delicious- Japanese cheesecakes are usually lighter in texture and more creamy than the ones in the US.  Of course we bought some at their gift shop to share with family.

It had finally stopped raining by the time we got to the Pione grapes, and we got to see row after row of these perfectly shaped bunches.

These Pione grapes were seriously unlike any other grape I've had before - super sweet and each grape is packed with a ton of flavor and juice.  One of the stipulations of "all you can eat grapes" here was that you had to finish the whole bunch, haha.  Meaning, you couldn't just eat a few off of the first bunch and take a second, third, etc. bunch " to-go".  Which is very smart on the owners' end because Pione grapes are very expensive and if you didn't have that stipulation, people would just wind up taking a whole bucket full of grapes home with them, haha.  I wish they sold these grapes in the US, they are so delicious!