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Photos and musings from around Japan

MY JAPANESE LIFE

 

December 30, 2010

I arrived in Osaka around 6:30 pm, and it took me an additional hour or so to actually get to my hotel from JR Osaka station due to some confusion about subway exits; the hotel recommended taking exit 1 or 3, but I took 2 since there was an elevator. There are *18 exit...

December 27, 2010

Much more pedestrian-friendly than Kyoto, Nara's sites are scattered around Nara Park. These include the Three- and Five-Story Pagodas at Kofukuji, Todaiji Temple and Daibustuden, Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do Halls, Wakakusayama Hill, and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine with it...

December 26, 2010

In the morning, I took the train to Fushimi-Inari, famous for its thousands of torii gates that snake up the mountainside. I didn't make it all the way to the top (my legs were still aching from three days of nonstop climbing / walking), but I did get some great shots...

December 26, 2010

I headed out, miracle of miracles, on the subway (turns out I'd been putting my pass in backwards...silly me, I followed the direction of the arrow on the pass!), and after a little backtracking, started out at Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion that was built by the grand...

December 26, 2010

I treated myself to the most American thing around...coffee at Starbucks. After breakfast, I caught the right bus in the right direction and headed to Kiyomizu-dera on a bitingly cold morning. The trek up to the temple is a fun walk past souvenir shops and roadside foo...

December 26, 2010

After a few small hiccups from Komaki (note to self: when purchasing reserved shinkansen tickets, MAKE SURE to actually GET the second ticket before boarding (!), I arrived in Kyoto around 1:30. By the time I checked into my hotel and unpacked, it was closer to 2:30, a...

December 23, 2010

The small Komaki City Library has a rather large English-language section featuring (recent) bestsellers (fiction and nonfiction, including cookbooks) as well as books about Japanese culture and language in English (you'll also find Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Kor...

December 18, 2010

The oldest of Japan's surviving castles, Inuyama Castle is a treacherous climb. You'll have to deposit your shoes at the bottom, and you can either navigate in your socks or the provided slippers. The steps are at least 15" apart straight up for each floor, and going d...

December 18, 2010

An absolute gem, the Meiji-Mura is an open-air museum preserving dozens of Meji Era (1896-1912) Japanese buildings including schools, hotels, prisons, and even a lighthouse. Many of these buildings were strongly influenced by Western architecture and building materials...

December 12, 2010

 This small gem features a collection of European (Picasso, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Magritte, Van Gogh) and Japanese paintings and sculpture. I was surprised at the big-ticket artists on display for such a small gallery (it took about 40 minutes to go through).

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