Brick passage at Fort Santiago in Manila

Travel Update: Manila

[Editor’s note: The previous post, detailing our last days in Japan, omitted a rather crucial detail — our nearly-botched mission to return Shawn to Canada. The first few paragraphs have been updated to include that story.]

Our last big trip during our time in Asia was to the Philippines, the source of half of Amelia’s genes and a startling variety of deep-fried foods. Unlike our previous trips, we didn’t have much planned beyond “show up in Manila and see what happens”, which is Amelia’s preferred method of itinerary construction.

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Castle at Tokyo Disneyland

Travel Update: Tokyo, Part 2

Our last few days in Japan were each dedicated to a single purpose. The first was a day of leisure (or, at least, that was the plan). The second was less about the usual monks-and-temples and more about mice-and-castles. That’s right — we were off to Tokyo Disneyland!

The third, and last, 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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Meiji Jingu Ticket

Travel Update: Tokyo, Part 1

While Kat and I were harassing the local wildlife in Kyoto, Amelia headed to Tokyo to meet up with our friend Shawn (also known as “Naka” [or “T-Nak”, though only I call him that]). Unlike your reliable blogger, Amelia is given to gross exaggerations, and so I can only hope to separate truth from fiction in her account of what transpired.

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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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