Japan Day 9: The shrines of Kyoto

JapanDay9 (21 of 22)It’s time to switch gears from modern, pop Tokyo to ancient, spiritual Kyoto. Kyoto was Japan’s capital until the end of the shogun feudal period when the Emperor consolidated power and moved to Tokyo in 1869. It remains the biggest tourist attraction in Japan even more so during Cherry blossom season, which lasts for several weeks in spring. We’ve come too late for the peak, but there are the late blooming cherry’s and TONS of dogwoods.

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Japan Day 8 – An earthquake in my bank account and the bullet train to Kyoto

mickeyI wake up and check my bank accounts and call the front desk.   The damage is a lot, but not as bad as I thought.  How did I mistake that?  In my head I was paying 10,900 yen a night per person, or about $330 which I thought was a good deal for a three person room.  In actuality it was 109,000 per night for the room.   Doh. Don’t mess with zero.   It’s my biggest travel-money mistake ever, but it will be recoverable eventually, I suppose.

Minutes later, in sympathy (or mocking?) Japan rumbles with a 4.7 earthquake that lasted about 30 seconds.  Sigh.

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Japan Day Six and Seven: Dad gets scared at Tokyo Disney

Day 6-7 Japan (1 of 12)Lily is already bouncing as we leave our airbnb apartment and take the difficult 3-change metro journey to Tokyo Disney where we will spend the next two days. She reminds us, nicely, that she hasn’t been to a disneyland resort since she was five, and that means “we’ve missed some of her best Disney years.”

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Japan Day Five: Where the fuck is Mt. Fuji and interactive pee games.

On the JR line train into downtown Tokyo

On the JR line train into downtown Tokyo

Alone among old three story apartments, The Tokyo Sky Tree erupts out of the neighborhoods of Tokyo that were once the red light district and sill the Sumo wrestling center of the universe. It’s to some an eyesore, and to others the foundation of a revitailzation plan for an area of Tokyo that has lagged in tourist and commercial development.

We were told to go on a weekday early, and indeed there are no lines, although the place is clearly set up for mobs of tourists with empty snaking rows poles and ropes. It’s about $80 for the three of us! Not cheap.

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Japan Day Four: A loyal Akita and the geek Mecca

Lily's future husband on Shibuya street.

Lily’s future husband on Shibuya street.

For all the shopping we did yesterday, we came away with very little cool loot.   Ok we scored several sushi candy making kits but no clothes, and we have to come back from Japan with clothes, right?  I mean, no, the girls aren’t going to be wearing lolita-style big bows and mary janes to school any time soon.  But love it or hate it, Tokyo is one of the worlds most fashionable cities, and it’s always fun to say  ”I got that in Tokyo” even if it’s just something simple.

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