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From Kyoto, we went to Hiroshima. Hiroshima was… fun, which, from my American perspective, is not what I was expecting. The small part of the city we saw is beautiful. We stayed at a hotel right by the train station and river, and our room had a lovely view of river-park land. The train station itself seems a lot more barren than the other big city stations we've been in. The underground is mostly large concrete halls with few ads or decorations and reminded me slightly of a nuclear bunker, though that may say more about my brain than the place itself.Specifics and a few Pics )
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Kyoto was a whirlwind. We, alas, only had time to see two sights: Higashi Hongan-ji (down the street from our hotel) and the aquarium.

Temple

We stumbled upon Higashi Hongan-ji (temple), which is undergoing renovation but is still partly open to the public. It’s interesting to spy the pre-renovated temple under the scaffolding vs. the part that’s already completed; they’re doing an amazing job at cleaning and brightening it.

Chatter and Pics )
labingi: (inu)
A Mirage of Blaze stop: September 12, we went to Samegao Castle, where Kagetora died. It was a spectacular experience of many dimensions.

Myoko Kogen (Then and Now)

We’re staying for a couple of days at Oyado Furuya, a ryokan in Myoko Kogen, a ski resort town and the first place we’ve stayed that’s not in a big city. It’s a very nice place I highly recommend, but the thing that impresses me most is the landscape of the Niigata Prefecture, a beautiful, mountainous region with many forests. The weather is also quite nice up here. It’s no longer miserably hot and humid but instead a bit too warm but, on the whole, pleasant. It’s also nice to be away from the massive urban train stations of chaos and doom and out into small, country stations with a single conductor taking tickets by hand.

Rambling and Pic Spam )
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Yesterday, we went to Inuyama, a smallish town near Nagoya, with my old friend, Toshio, and his fiancée, Yumi, who is from Inuyama. Yumi and her family were very gracious in having us over as guests and feeding us. Then, Yumi drove us around to various local sites, including the Meiji-mura Museum and fishing with cormorants.

(Pics below the cut)

Read more... )

In Japan

Sep. 7th, 2012 12:55 pm
labingi: (Default)
I am a couple of days into my visit to Japan. I have nothing groundbreaking to say, but here are some impressions...

The people, of course, are very nice, and I feel embarrassed that they speak English to me by default in their own country, but the fact is I can't figure out anything they say in Japanese. My listening skills are atrocious. I can figure out a little bit more reading, and that's been kind of fun and occasionally even helpful to my much more travel savvy but less Japanese knowing travel companion.Read more... )

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