Train Tripping from Kyoto

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One of the best parts about traveling in Japan is the train system, which is so efficient and convenient that day trips are an absolute must. Kyoto and Osaka are surrounded by a bunch of fantastic day trip destinations, but my absolute favorite was Nara. The enormous population of peaceful, friendly, fearless, free-roaming deer make Nara one of the most special places we visited during our time in Japan. Unlike the monkeys that came with scaryish rules, the deer were … Continue reading

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Cultured in Kyoto

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Spend a few days in Kyoto, and you’ll be exhausted but enriched. There are TOO many sights to see, most of which fall into the temples and gardens category. Most of these attractions surround the edges of the city, which makes it difficult to sightsee efficiently. The contrast between the lush temple areas and the low-rise city is stark, but there is beauty to be found in central locations too, particularly the sprawling shopping arcades, which are best saved for … Continue reading

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Temples & Tatami: Nikko and Takayama

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One of the best things about traveling in Japan is the extensive and efficient train system. We took one (usually more than one) almost every day. As a day trip from Tokyo, we travelled north to Nikko, a town with a huge and wooded temple complex designated as a world heritage site. It was in Nikko that we learned a very important lesson: all good things in Japan are uphill. Each impressive temple is either up an incline or flight … Continue reading

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