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, The Missus 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, The Missus 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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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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The Barristers and Solicitors' Oath

On Becoming a Lawyer

It has been a while since my last update – and for good reason! The last year has been quite busy, and has gotten in the way of my already-irregular blogging habits.

Most of the last year has involved work, which is to be expected. If you’re reading these words, you likely already know that I graduated from law school last year, and thereafter began a year-long process called “articling” (or, because this is a custom with British origins and must therefore be referred to with several slightly-different terms, “articles”). It’s basically a one-year apprenticeship at a law firm, interspersed with coursework and the Bar exams. I took the exams right away, so they’re now a distant and mildly unpleasant memory.

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Genbaku Dome and Clear Skies

Travel Update: Hiroshima

On our second full day in Japan, we put our JR passes to good use and took a day trip to Hiroshima. Now, the most common question that I get about Hiroshima is “how do you say ‘Hiroshima’?” It may surprise you to find out that one does not need to actually visit Hiroshima to answer this question – there are resources one can consult. Still, in case you’re curious, it is roughly pronounced “Hee-roe-shee-mah” (not “Heer-aw-shim-ah”).

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what we did that day.

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Travel Update: Osaka

I have a confession to make: This post does not begin in Osaka. It begins in Tokyo. If that concerns you, do not fret; I will get to Osaka soon enough.

We flew in to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport on an evening flight via Beijing. Haneda was more-or-less like every other airport that we’ve passed through these last two months. The biggest difference was that there was less English than we were had encountered in Chinese airports, which was a little surprising. Oh, and also the airport bathrooms came with educational diagrams and required a technical degree to operate.

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Hong Kong Skyline

Travel Update: Kowloon

After our whirlwind weekend in Singapore, we decided to take it easy with a trip to Kowloon. Like Lantau, Kowloon is part of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, but is not on Hong Kong island. Kowloon is actually on the mainland, just north of Hong Kong island and right across the border from the city of Shenzhen.

We took the MTR to the ferry docks, which entailed a quick stop at the International Finance Center (or “IFC” to the locals). IFC is Hong Kong’s premier luxury brands destination, which normally is not the sort of tagline that is likely to draw me in. One of the luxury brands that they play host to, however, is Apple. The store there is brand-new, and I had to drop by for some repairs on my Mac.

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