Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Touring Japan

In the combined desires of seeing as much of Japan as possible and trying to get the most out of my rail pass, we spent several days city-hopping. Here are some pictures from Osaka (which James describes as "Tokyo's son" because of its nightlife and younger feel) and Kyoto ("Tokyo's grandfather" because of its classical architecture and the Gion district).

First we went to Osaka and saw some of the sights, then ended the day with some fantastic drinks at a little absinth bar run by a very charming couple.

The candyland-esque trees that line the path up to Osaka castle.

Osaka castle, where we ate fried octopus (takoyaki). It was pretty good, but kind of hard to chew. Earlier in the trip, James came across a piece that he said he could neither chew nor just swallow whole, so he spit it out and hid it in the cuff of his jeans. It was disgusting.

Then it was off to Kyoto.

A picture of some houses in Kyoto.

One of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life was the Tenruyji Temple in Kyoto, which had a Zen garden and a bamboo forest.

The Geisha quarter (Gion), where some of the older style of Japanese life still exists, though fairly well hidden. We wandered around there for a while in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a real live Geisha.

We had no luck and decided to give up and get on the Shinkansen back to Nagoya. Ironically, we saw a Geisha getting on the train.

The picture is blurry, but it is a real Geisha, I swear!

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