Pictures of our Japan Trip Thanksgiving, 2007, to see our son, Brian.
Takasaki, Brian's city, about 1 hour by Shinkansen (bullet train) northwest of Tokyo.
Brian on the train the day we got to Japan (November 18, 2007). Brian and Jim at the Takasaki City Center. Its' contagious! The old apostrophe bugaboo at the Takasaki JR Train Station. A View of Taksaki City from the 21st floor of the city center building Brian Dinner at a fancy restaurant in Takasaki with Paul, Brian, me, Jim, Nao, Shuhei. Plastic Food on Display at a restaurant at the Takasaki JR Station The Shinkansen (bullet train) at Takasaki Station. We rode these a lot! Kannonyama statue in Takasaki. We climbed up into her head! A small shrine at the Kannonyama statue in Takasaki A street scene in Takasaki. We had dinner with Shuhei and his Mom at a lovely restaurant in Maebashi.
Kyoto, the beautiful temple city in Kansai, Japan.
Yuuka met us in her kimono in Kyoto at the train station. The temple gate at Kiyomizudera. The awesome (and very crowded) pavilion at Kiyomizudera. Another shot of the pavilion at Kiyomizudera. Gorgeous fall colors at Kiyomizudera.This is why all the people were at Kiyomizu. Jim, Brian and I at Kiyomizudera. Looking down from Kiyomizudera to the city of Kyoto.You can see the tower at the train station from here. A bike in Kyoto like Brian's bike (Wildchamp) on which he broke his collarbone! Brian and Jim at dinner in Kyoto. Yuuka and I at dinner in Kyoto.
Nara, the ancient former capital of Japan, in Kansai.
Todaiji Temple in Nara.The largest wooden structure in the world. The huge bronze Buddha in the Todaiji Temple in Nara. A school band we came across while walking around Nara on Thanksgiving Day. Sonic the Hedgehog made an appearance in Nara, too. Nara has some interesting restaurants, even Italian ones. Yes, there are McDonalds in Japan, and Starbucks, too. Pounding rice cake dough to make rice cakes in Nara.Cool video. Little street in Nara. Bikes parked in Nara.Everyone rides bikes in Japan. Looking at a pagoda in Nara from near the reflecting pool. Yuuka and I getting maccha (strong, foamy green tea) at a traditional Nara teahouse. This is what maccha (strong green tea) looks like (with a bean cake).As you can see, its warmer here than it was in Kyoto. Japanese hot pot (nabe) dinner cooking away in Nara.
Fushimi-Inari, very near Kyoto. This amazing site has over 10,000 Torii gates going up the mountain, making almost a tunnel as you walk.
Getting started walking up the mountain under the Torii gates at Fushimi-Inari. Some of the Torii gates were really big! Some of the smaller Torii gates look like a tunnel as you go up. A shrine part way up the mountain. Another shrine. A reflecting pond part way up the mountain.We ate lunch at a little tea house near here. The fox is a theme here at Fushimi-Inari. Amazing, but each string of papers here is actually a whole lot of origami (folded paper) cranes or other designs all strung together. Brian exhibiting his strength!
Nikko. This is a beautiful place with all kinds of wonderful temples and waterfalls in a national park, a couple of hours from Brian's place. Jim and I managed to get here by ourselves!
This beautiful bridge over the river is right next to the hotel where we stayed. This huge Torii gate is among the giant trees here. This big temple is part of the temple complex at Nikko. The gate to one of the temples in Nikko. A closeup of the guilded gate. The guardian of the shrine.These guys are everywhere at the temples we visited in Japan. The guardian on the other side of the shrine. Huge stone lantern. Gorgeous carved wooden door at Nikko. Hear no, speak no, see no Evil! Everyone was snapping photos of this carving of the sleeping cat, so we did, too. Drums full of saki.If you want to buy one of these, you can make a wish and then pop the top and drink it. These things are huge. A view of the mountains from our (expensive) hotel window.
Kamakura. On the coast, about 1 hour South of Tokyo. At one time, this city was the capital of Japan.
The giant Buddha here is outside.The temple housing this Buddha was washed away, along with most of Kamakura, in a tsunami many years ago, but the Buddha statue remained. You can climb up partway into the statue. Another view of the giant Buddha. A Japanese Garden in Kamakura. A sign at the JR station in Japanese. Same sign, but now showing English.
Narita. The Tokyo airport.
Goodbye at Narita.Mickey and Minnie got into the act!