Emiko has been my best friend ever since I was old enough to remember having friends haha. I think we met back in 2nd or 3rd grade? When we were little she used to live next to my Aunt and Uncle and I thought it was the coolest thing ever that I could go to their house AND her house in the same afternoon. She was always homeschooled, so we never went to school together... and when we were in the 5th grade her family moved to Japan for her dads job. Yet the distance seemed to affect us in a positive way and we wrote emails to each other like "Hi Emi I just got home from school and ate a popsicle. My dog is funny. bye" because that's what 10 year olds do haha. The best part is I would then print out every single email sent between us and put it in a special box decorated with AMIE and EMI all over it. I think I still have that box somewhere. 

So basically, having Emi visit me in Japan was a childhood dream come true. The absolute best week ever. Our friendship was solidified all those years ago when we were younger, and it has survived moves to Nagoya, OC, Brussels, London, Azusa, Redding, LA, and now Kashiwa. The running joke is that I have seen every place Emi has ever lived (and it has been a lot of places) so the tables were turned and she was able to visit my home here in Japan. 

We explored all over Tokyo and took a bazillion photos and selfies. When Emi left last week we literally both cried like our 10 year old selves and wished we could just be roomies already. 

We knew we had to recreate this photo from our time in Nagoya, Japan in 2003! We have come a loooooong way from our awkward teen selves lol. But its true, your best friends know you and accept you before you are ever anywhere close to being "cool" 

On our first day together I showed Emi Teganuma, the river by my house. 

Had to get some umeboshi onigiri! My fav. 

It was so hot out in the blazing sun, but the breeze was blowing pretty nicely for us and we had a blast running around the rice patties and unashamedly taking photos. This last one of her is my fav!


A few more of day 1 from my phone..

We woke up each morning to the always fabulous 7-11 coffee, oatmeal for Emi, yogurt for me, and some fruit. 

We ended our first night with an amazing Kushiage (a bunch of fried meat and veggies on a stick - chef's choice!) with two of my good friends Mina and her husband Aki plus their friend Shun! Aki's other friend owns the restaurant which is a cozy little place a few minutes from Kashiwa station. The food is so good and I even got an order of the most delicious umeboshi ochazuke! I could eat that everyday without hesitation. Because we were with such good company, it helped Emi fight most of her jet lag and stay up all day so we were sooooo ready for the next day...aka the day we took over TOKYO! coming next...