Japan Journals

Not How I Intended to
Arrive in Japan

A Bit of Time in Tokyo

Monkey-ing Around Near


The 'Deer' City of Nara

Miyajima and Hiroshima


Kobe - A City With More
Than Just Beef

Returning to Kyoto

And On The Seventh Day,
There Was Rest
Photo Albums
Tokyo and Nagano



Hiroshima and Miyajima

Himeji, Kobe and Kyoto
Links relating to
my trip

Dave and Masayo's in Tokyo

Hotel Raizan South (Osaka)

Other Sites:

Yudanaka Snow Monkey Park
(near Nagano)

Arashiyama Monkey Park (in

Nature Spa (in Takarazuka)

Mitsukoshi - A department store
with an amazing food hall.

Japan Rail Pass - Don't leave
home without one of these if you
plan on traveling for around a week!

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My Japanese Experience...

Highs: Seeing Dave and Masayo; the snow monkeys in Yudanaka (near Nagano); Nara; the food;
toilets and bathrooms; experiencing snow; Kobe (especially the Kitano area); the Himeji Castle
covered with snow; the many toriis of the Fushimi Inari Shrine; the bamboo forest in Kyoto; the
Monkey Park in Kyoto.

Lows: Only having 10 days out here; not being equipped with the correct clothing.

Best Moment: I can't place a 'best' moment. Every day I came back feeling so pumped about what
I had seen that day.

Craziest Moment: Having a Japanese clown mime directions for me in the Arashiyama area of

Smells: The incredible aromas of food; incense.

Sounds: The noises at the crosswalks; the sounds radiating from stores out onto the streets;
monkeys playing/fighting/making monkey love.

Sights: Video games being played on the streets; Japanese porn shops; electronic megastores;
Buddhist temples; pagodas; Todaji Temple; Kofukuji Temple; deer in Nara; Peace Museum and
Memorial (Hiroshima); floating torii in Miyajima; Himeji Castle; Kitano in Kobe; Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
in Kobe; Arashiyama Monkey Park (Kyoto); Ginkakuji Temple (Kyoto); Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Tastes: Bento boxes; sushi; marinated root veggies; seaweed salad with soybeans and tofu;
Japanese cookies; octopus balls; rice balls wrapped in moutain potato dough;
okonomiyaki (referred
to as 'Japanese pizza'); momiji manju' - maple leaf-shaped cakes with a variety of fillings; oysters (on
Miwajima Island); 'rice cake' skewers with an assortment of flavors that looked more like a skewer of
steak pieces (in Kyoto).

Purchases: Different beautifully-wrapped packages of cookies; Hello Kitty tins of mints; a purse.

Street Food: Octopus balls; rice balls wrapped in mountain potato dough; roasted sweet potatoes.

Fun Food Finds: Grape and apple flavored Kit Kats (the flavoring is within the wafers - I can't
really bring myself to try these); green tea flavored Kit Kats; Hershey kisses filled with cheesecake
flavoring (unless these are new at home now).

Western Companies Out Here: Starbuck's, McDonald's, The Sports Authority; Denny's;
Coco's; KFC; Seattle's Best Coffee; Wendy's; Tully's Coffee.

Other General Info...

Visa needed? Not for Americans.

Type of currency? The yen. $1 USD is equal to a bit more than 100 yen.

Things Japan Is Known For: Sushi and tuna; temples; zen gardens; torii; World War II.

Religion: Buddhism.

Costs: One-week rail pass was roughly $300 US.
February 19-29, 2008
In Nara.
Oh-so-wonderful Japanese street food.
A snow monkey near Nagano.