2014 Japan Itinerary

kinkaku-jiJapan is unlike anything else we’ve seen.  It’s as foreign as the deepest jungle of Peru, or desert of Egypt, but it’s strangely familiar because it’s the most obsessively developed country on the planet.  Add to that a centuries old culture of intensity and specificity and tradition and you get an amazing adventure.

Was it expensive?  Not really.  Sure, hotels are expensive because space is a premium, but everything else seemed European in price, or even cheaper.  We traveled very comfortably.

We’d go back for sure, if only to get to the mountains to the West, and snow up north.  Japan has so much to explore.

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Japan Day 10 and 11: A fantasy bamboo forest and our favorite shrine

Japan Day 10 KyotoThis is a photo update post written months after our final day in Kyoto Japan.  Like many of our last days on vacation, I couldn’t get the writing done to post the blog live.

But it was one of our favorite days though with the Sanjusangendo shrine, and the bamboo forest at Arashiyama.

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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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