Castle at Tokyo Disneyland

Travel Update: Tokyo, Part 2

Our last two days in Japan were each dedicated to a single purpose. The first day was less about the usual monks-and-temples and more about mice-and-castles. That’s right — we were off to Tokyo Disneyland!

The second day was all about Kat’s birthday. You may have noticed that people the world over celebrate this late-October event by dressing up in elaborate costumes and begging strangers for candy, two of Kat’s favourite pastimes. But we’ll get there.

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The golden pavilion at Rokuon-ji

Travel Update: Kyoto, Part 3

On our third and last time in Kyoto, Amelia and Kat were possessed of a single purpose: wearing fancy kimonos. We also planned on seeing the sights and introducing Shawn to our favourite parts of the city, but all of this was secondary to our central kimono-related goal.

Fair warning: This post consists primarily of photographs of Amelia in a fancy kimono. Occasionally there will be photographs of Kat in fancy kimonos (including an especially fancy mid-day costume change!), but for the most part this post is an extended exercise of my spousal prerogative.

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Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall) at Todai-ji

Travel Update: Kansai Region

Our remaining days in Japan were carefully portioned out, and would be mostly dedicated to Tokyo and Kyoto. We had one day free to explore the region, though, and we intended to use every last moment of it. In one day, we would set foot in four cities, all in the Kansai region (in the neighbourhood of Kyoto).

In case I am not being sufficiently clear, that day is the subject of this post. Hold on to your hats.

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Shrine at Kiyomizu-Dera

Travel Update: Kyoto, Part 1

The tale of our Japan adventure is less than half-done, so let’s get cracking! We travelled down from the mountaintop and made our way back to our hostel in Kyoto. Still possessed with a unslakable thirst for temples, we made our way to Kiyomizu-Dera. On the way, we passed by Wakamiya Hachimangu, also known as the “Pottery Shrine” — an annual pottery festival is held nearby (though, sadly, not at the time we were passing by).

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Konpon Daitō

Travel Update: Koyasan

[Editor’s Note: It has been three years since we visited Koyasan. This is an unusually long delay, even by my standards. This online journal would not be complete without this story, which stands out in my mind as the most memorable experience of all of our travels. I might not get to the rest of our trip, but I can rest easy now that I have shared this special part.]

Our next destination in Japan was a special one. Kat had done her research and learned about Mt. Koya, a mountain range just south of Osaka that is host to over a hundred temples. It’s also the centre of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, so it’s a pretty big deal.

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