While it’s still snowy out here in Kiruna and we’re looking at a year of staying home, I’ve been going through pictures from our 2019 Tokyo trip.
After both wanting to go for years, we finally did it and we had an amazing time! It was our first trip someplace where we didn’t know anyone and we timed it so we could meet up with some friends from the States on their own trip to Japan.
We had such a good time that we’ve pretty much abandoned all ideas of going anywhere else on vacation and can’t wait to be in Tokyo again.
Tips! You can preorder your wifi! We picked it up at a Lawsons in the airport, this handy little gadget you stick in your bag for your own traveling hot spot. Google maps was amazing for getting around and navigating the trains, I would not want to find myself without internet. And then before we went home, we just put it in the included package and stuck it in the mailbox at the airport.
Tips! Don’t go in the summer. I grew up in California but this was a different level of hot. I had to give up wearing makeup because it was just melting off of me. Phong and I are not warm weather people, we prefer light jacket weather and no direct sunlight. That being said, we STILL loved our trip. That’s how great Tokyo was.
We went a little bit of everywhere. I absolutely loved the subway system. It was so easy to get around. Harajuku, Shibuya, and Akihabara were Phong’s favorite areas for the shopping. I liked Asakusa and Odaiba. The train to Odaiba was my favorite. It goes above ground and has beautiful views.
Tips! Travel with Phong. He doesn’t handle directions or any of the business side of traveling, but he’s a delight and he carries your luggage! And he’s so photogenic!
My mom and stepdad visited us in Sweden for Christmas and New Years and I tried to take them on some truly Swedish adventures. One of those adventures was a Northern Lights wandering out in the arctic wilds near Kiruna.
I had to ask Linn (@booksnknitting) how to take pictures of northern lights and she talked me through setting up my camera with screenshots to help.
We went out with Britt from Guide in North and it was amazing! She met up with us and provided a bunch of winter clothes. After we suited up, we drove out of the city and into the dark. Already there were some waves of northern lights in the sky. And then we got into the sleighs behind scooters and went out onto a frozen river, farther out into the country.
The lights were amazing but I was even more blown away but just how many stars we could see. Britt even pointed out mars, winking red at us.
We saw a few moose, who stopped to stare back at us for a while. I did not get a picture of them. I happen to be weirded out by moose–they absolutely give me the heebie jeebies BUT my mom and Papa Pat got a kick out it.
Just when we were freezing our toes off, the tour continued up to a little cabin where we got to warm up by the fire, eat some food, drink some tea, and even have a bit of cake.
The lights were incredible, moving from one side of the sky overhead and to the other. It seemed like as soon as you marveled in one direction someone was pointing out the lights in another.
I don’t think Phong and I would ever have done anything like this if we weren’t entertaining guests.
If you find yourself in Kiruna and have any interest in going out to see the lights or look at moose or go fishing, I can’t recommend Guide in North enough. Britt and her husband were absolutely amazing and we had an evening we’ll never forget.