Nippon Round Two

If you may recall, a couple of months back I was in Japan with the folks. I wrote a couple of quick blog posts here and here about it in case you missed them and want a refresher.

Anyways – I thought that it was about time I got around to making the second installment of that holiday report. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I had a bit of an accident where I managed to completely wipe my entire hard drive, and in doing so – lost all photos, including those I took in Japan. Fortunately, I had a few saved on my camera still, and the folks have a back up copy back in Sydney, so all is not entirely lost. Of the remaining shots I had left, I picked 20-odd images and have loaded them onto my Flickr so you can have a peek.

Gion, Kyoto

So, last time I left off, we were just leaving the mega city of Tokyo. The folks and I had stocked up on a bento box each for the three hour jump to Kyoto via the old Shinkansen. Now for those of you not in the know, Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan which means that the main sights were the old town and the temples. Now I know what you are thinking – bloody boring-ass temples.

But wait, the temples were actually amazing, such as the Inari temple below which was paying homage…to agriculture and foxes I think….? Fitting for a livestock expert like myself no?

Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto

Beyond the temples there was also the Sagano Bamboo forest which was just outside of Kyots and well worth your time. Here are a couple of shots I took within the forest.

Arashiyama, Kyoto
Mother and I in Sagano

Now, the highlight of the Kyoto leg was definitely found in Gion – known to gaijin like us as the ‘ancient town’. Now contrary to what you may have been led to believe – Geisha’s aren’t just walking around aimlessly everywhere in Japan. From what I have read/been told, they are incredibly rare now in their truest form. However, it is well known that Gion represents one of the best places in Japan to catch a glimpse of them as they travel to their evening entertainment destinations. So you can just imagine our luck one afternoon, whilst stumbling around Gion, we happened upon a group of about 20 people at the end of a really random alley with some serious cameras. Dad suggested we wait around to see what was going on, and sure enough 15mis later, one Geisha walked out of a small house to a waiting car, and then another 10mins later.

I managed to get some happy snaps with my new camera as they made the walk, and it goes without saying that they were truly amazing in every way possible. Look at the work on that bloody kimono.

Geisha, Gion

A comment from AThousandTales’ on Flickr – ‘….Her name is Kosen. She debuted as a full-fledged geiko (Kyoto geisha) last year.’

Geisha, Gion

Ok, before I lose you all, let me just rush through the last few notable photos I had still.

After Kyoto, we made our way to the food-mecca of Osaka, also hometown to my girls Yuki and Inah – whaddup!

The highlights from Osaka were, in no specific order – the Osaka Aquarium and their 4-storey tank housing amongst other creatures – a whale shark. What the hell right?

The food. Oh god. The food.

Suntory Premium Malt Beer and TakoyakiChowing down on some Osaka Takoyaki and a Suntory Premium Malt Beer

Nasu Dengaku

Nasu Dengaku or Baked Eggplant glazed with Miso Paste, or in this case – two kinds of Miso Paste

And of course, hanging out with my crazy-ass parents before they boarded a flight back for Sydney by way of a few nights in Singapore. Also, whilst on the topic of parents – big shout out to Yuki’s folks for taking me out on the town one of those nights and putting up with my drunken ramblings about Japanese girls.

Umeda Tower

The folks and I overlooking Osaka from Umeda Sky-Tower

Next stop you ask? Two weeks of annual leave with some mates from home as we motorbike the Mekong and down to Phu Quoc. Starting as you read this. What what!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out the rest of the photos on me Flickr

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