Friday, January 30, 2015

Highlights of Japan

I would like to sit down and break down my views on the two cities my brother and I visited while in Japan but for now I will just give a brief overview.

We flew to Osaka from Busan and got there early enough to go check-out the castle. It was kind of rainy so we quickly took some pictures around the grounds and got on a train to Kyoto where our hostel was. While in Kyoto we saw many shrines and temples as you can imagine but my top 3 were the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) and the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji).

 Fushimi Inari Taisha



Though some days were a bit brisk, it was nice to not have to contend with hordes of tourists for these awesome views. I will talk more about how we got to some of these sights and my impression of them in following blogs but I will say that these 3 were my favorite because they somehow felt the most real. That is to say they had the most presence. I felt most connected to the history, country and culture while at these places. In any case I would highly recommend these sights if you find yourself in Kyoto. 

After spending 3 full days in Kyoto we headed north to Tokyo by way of plane. I would not do that again, a train makes more sense time wise and the price difference is not too significant. I tend to find most big cities to be more or less the same. I wasn't that impressed with Seoul and I can't say I was too impressed with Tokyo. Part of that may be due to circumstances; we were already tired from our busy days in Kyoto, the weather wasn't great and traveling with your brother can be trying on one's nerves. However, I am not sure I would return for anything more than a brief visit (in warmer weather) because city attractions just aren't generally my thing. I can only handle so many museums, the cultural events or sights tend to be fewer, smaller, more touristy and less authentic feeling than what you find in the countryside (or smaller cities) and I am just not that into night life. So while it was cool to see all the manga and different styles of dress it just wasn't my cup of tea. I will discuss all this in a dedicated Tokyo blog in the future, but for now, pictures. 

 One of the places I did enjoy wandering around was Harajuku

Another favorite was the nearby Meji Shrine. 

I promise to write explicitly about each city and travel tips in the near future. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. 


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