Holiday, Photography, Travel

Japan Day 17: Tokyo, Akihabara & river trip (12/04/2015)

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Today we visited Senso-ji, a temple on the Lonely Planet must see list, took a cruise down the Sumida river to the Hamarikyu gardens and spent the afternoon shopping. The temple was a bit disappointing and the river cruise was relaxing and a different way to travel round the city but not hugely interesting. The gardens were beautiful.

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Holiday, Photography, Travel

Japan Day 16: Tokyo, Akihabara (11/04/2015)

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For the next couple of days we are staying in Tokyo’s “Electric Town” Akihabara. This area is famous for its stores full of cheap electronics and anime and manga merchandise. Being a fan of all of these things I was pretty excited about staying in this area for a couple of days. I didn’t take any pictures today so the pictures below are all stolen from the internet (labelled OK for reuse).

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Food, Holiday, Photography, Travel

Japan Day 15: Nara – Tokyo (10/04/2015)

Today’s plan was to further explore the park and temples in the surrounding area before heading back to Tokyo in the afternoon or evening. When we got up though it was raining hard which put us off the idea. We had booked a traditional breakfast for this morning so we decided to re-think our plans while we ate.

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Food, Holiday, Travel

Japan Day 14: Kyoto – Nara Part 2 “Food” (09/04/2015)

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In the evening of our day in Nara, we had a traditional Japanese kaiseki meal served in one of the hotel’s several dining rooms. Kaiseki meals consist of many small courses which are served some one after another and some in groups. There are traditional correct orders and ways to eat the courses but with our limited knowledge and the limited English of the staff we just got on with it and hoped not to cause any offence!

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Holiday, Photography, Travel

Japan Day 14: Kyoto – Nara (09/04/2015)

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Today we are leaving Kyoto after our brief stay and heading to Nara. After our practice run yesterday, it was easy work to get to the JR Nara Express and settle in for the journey. We had heard that you can get there faster and cheaper and on nicer trains if you use a different railway line but since we had JR passes we decided to stick with what we knew. We arrived early in Nara and were glad that it was significantly warmer than it had been in Kyoto. We left our bags in lockers at Nara station and set off to explore.

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Holiday, Photography, Travel

Japan Day 13: Kyoto Day 2 (08/04/2015) – Part 2

Nanzen-ji has a huge gate house or sanmon which is several stories high. There are gardens and cherry blossoms too but the main attraction is the hojo temple building and its karesansui gardens considered to be among the most important of their kind. Originally a retreat for the emperor, the buildings were made into a temple following his death. Inside you can see traditionally decorated and furnished rooms and traditional zen gardens. You have to take your shoes off to enter the temple obviously but there isn’t much space to leave them so we ended up carrying our shoes around which was a little awkward.

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Holiday, Photography, Travel

Japan Day 13: Kyoto Day 2 (08/04/2015) – Part 1

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On our second and last day in Kyoto, we intend to visit Fushimi Inari Taisha & Nanzen-ji temples and also walk the philosopher’s path. This turned out to be quite an ambitious plan and we did have to cut short some of the trips, especially the first one to fit everything in. I’d love to return in the autumn and spend more time in the hills and temples.

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