Japan 2016

17 day action-packed trip to Japan during April 2016, visiting Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Kyoto, Himeji, Mount Yoshino, Nara, Nagoya, Kiso valley, Tokyo & Hakone. We travelled mostly by Shinkansen bullet train. When I showed Charli the itinerary before we left the first thing she said was “but Dad… there’s no rest days”.

Horikoshi Shrine, located near our Air BnB – Osaka
Pedestrian only street mall, Shinsaibashi district – Osaka
Takoyaki restaurant, Dotonbori shopping & entertainment district – Osaka
The Minami shopping district is located around Namba Station – Osaka
Vending machine – Osaka
Dotonbori shopping & entertainment district, Osaka
Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima. Earlier in the day, G-7 officials came together in Hiroshima and laid wreaths at the Memorial Park, including US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
Ruin of Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, now called the A-Bomb Dome building, Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima.
Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima
Hiroshima Castle. The castle was originally constructed in the 1590s, but was destroyed by the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. The castle was rebuilt in 1958, a replica of the original.
The vermilion colour of the torii gate and shrines are believed to have the power to keep evil spirits away. However, they were completely ineffective against Charli.
Friendly deer at the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine – Miyajima Island
Shukkeien garden, which translates to shrunken-scenery garden. Construction of the garden began in 1620 during the Edo period.
Himeji Castle, also known as White Egret Castle or White Heron Castle. Various structures have existed on top of Himeyama Hill but the large building complex we see today was completed in the early 17th Century.
Kokoen Garden, located right next to Himeji Castle, was opened in 1992.
View of Royoanji Temple, the site of Kyoto’s famous rock garden
These Japanese ladies, tourists dressed in Kimonos, were happy to pose with the girls – Kyoto.
Chion-in temple – Kyoto
Following Japanese tourists as we enter Fushimi Inari Shrine – Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto
Hiking up Mount Yoshino, looking for cherry blossoms
Todaiji Great Eastern temple – Nara
A bullet train enters Nagoya station
Beautiful scenery hiking along the Magome-Tsumago trail – Kiso Valley
The trail connects the towns of Tsumago and Magome and takes 2-3 hours to walk at a leisurely pace – Kiso Valley.
Magome is a former post town in the Kiso Valley, which served travelers of the Nakasendo, a major route that connected Tokyo with Kyoto during the feudal ages.
Mount Ena (2,191m) viewed from Magome
We stayed one night at a Ryokan, which is a Japanese-style inn that provides the opportunity to experience a traditional Japanese lifestyle & hospitality.
Magome has been beautifully restored with a broad stone walkway lined with wooden buildings and carefully tended foliage.
Disneyland – Tokyo
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea
Imperial Palace – Tokyo
For our last day in Japan we did a day trip from Tokyo to Hakone, which is a hot springs resort town in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. After relaxing in the very hot springs bath we had a superb meal, Yakiniku style, where you grill meat and vegetables on the BBQ.