We were very excited to see Japanese castles while in Japan. We have seen castles all over Europe and wanted to compare. Himeji Castle, the White Castle, is one of the most famous castles in Japan, and is a day trip from Kyoto. With 600 years of history within the walls of the castle it was a great site to explore with a lot history.
The outside of the White Castle was very impressive. It towered over a large courtyard. It was exactly the castle we had been hoping to see.
Continue reading “Himeji Castle”
We spent the day touring Kyoto and some of its beautiful temples. Kyoto is known for its temples because there are so many of them! There are 14 major temples to see, and countless other small temples in the city. It was a hard choice to decide which ones are to visit, but we tried to choose ones that were different from each other. Continue reading “Kyoto Temples and Tea “
We took a day trip out of Kyoto to Nara City. It was an hour train ride from Kyoto and Nara City on the JR train. We were amazed at how easy it was to use the train! The trains were very timely, and ran frequently between all the places we wanted to go; unlike in China, or at airports, there is no security theater before one can board. Nara City is home to numerous UNESCO world heritage sites due to its history as Japan’s capital from 710 to 782; it was called Heijokyo during the time.
In the center of the City is Nara Park. Nara Park is home to 4 of the world heritage sites as well as an estimated 1200 wild deer! Continue reading “Nara Park and Temples “
After the night bus we were unable to check into our hostel until late afternoon. So, we took off to see the city! We started at Nijo-jo castle. This castle was completed in 1603 and was the residence of the head of the Shogunate (samurai government) from completion until 1867.
The castle is surrounded by a moat and to enter you go through the Kara-mon Gate. This gate uses cypress bark as the roof along with brilliantly colored carvings. Continue reading “Our First Day in Kyoto “
We spent our last day in Tokyo at the museum. We walked through Ueno park to get to the museum; it was an enjoyable walk. The park was being used by tourists as well as locals. It felt similar to Central Park, but smaller. Continue reading “Tokyo National Museum “
After we summited Mt. Fuji, we returned to Tokyo for the Sumida River Fireworks Festival, which dates back to 1733. The night we returned, had ramen at our favorite ramen restaurant in Tokyo. You order from a computer at the front that also takes your payment. You then give the receipt to the cook, who makes your soup. Continue reading “Japanese Firework Festival “
Climbing Fuji-san was always on the list of things to do while we were back in Japan for the summer. Although locals and some professionals climb all year around, tourist are only allowed to climb in July and August due to weather conditions. Even in the heat of summer, the summit is below freezing and maintains some snow. Chris was thrilled with the chance to be cold and see snow! We realized that it would stay so cold because of how high it was: 12,388 feet above sea level (3,776 meters)! If we made it to the top, this would be the highest summit of the trip and both of our lives. Continue reading “Climbing Mount Fuji 🗻”