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Yet another gate in Togakushi.
FeaturedFebruary 12, 2012

22 Days in Japan, Day 18: Exploring Togakushi


It’s a dark, cloudy day. The sun is nowhere to be found in Nagano.

Since the ryokan (Japanese inn) that I’m currently staying in isn’t close to Togura station (about a 25 minute walk), Tyler the innkeeper gives me a lift, getting there just as the train is coming in.

Nagano
Featured12/26/2011

22 Days in Japan, Day 17: Nagano, Rain, and a Scary Bridge


Kyoto is now miles away, and I’m on the train to my next destination: Nagano. Yep, the same Nagano that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. It lies in the (more) northern part of Japan that’s so far been largely unexplored (by me).

The essence of Ryoan-ji: the Rock Garden.
Featured6/26/2011

22 Days in Japan, Day 16: Zen and the Art of Staring at Rocks


Day 16? Already? Six days left. Normally, my goal each day is just to see as much as possible. But today I’ve got a different goal: to be enlightened. I’m referring to Ryoan-ji, of course.

Time to visit Todai-ji.
Featured5/17/2011

22 Days in Japan, Day 15: Nara


I wake up a little after 10 o’clock on Day 15. I’m still in Kyoto, still in a ryokan called IchiEnSou. Unfortunately, it looks like everyone else left already.

A river separates downtown Kyoto and rustic Gion.
Featured2/26/2011

22 Days in Japan, Day 14: Kyoto, Kiyomizu, and Kesha


The day starts out like any other day, with me eating the same orange juice and pastry combo that I’ve been having since Day One (minus that one day I accidentally bought a curry donut). But it ends on a much higher note.

day-13-sushi
Featured1/2/2011

22 Days in Japan, Day 13: Den-den Town


It’s a crap day, rainy and nasty. I wake up at 10 am, and trudge out into the downpour sometime around 11. Yep, another late start.

Today I’m headed to Temma, home of another super long 2.4 km mall (sort of like the Shinsaibashi Shopping area) and the Tenmangu shrine.

day-12-dinner
Featured11/21/2010

22 Days in Japan, Day 12: Osaka Science Museum, Umeda, and Spa World


Day 12. Osaka, Japan. I wake up at 9:30 thanks to some guy in my six-person dorm room who decides to start his Osaka adventure early by opening and closing backpack zippers for half an hour. It’s about 10:30 by the time I get out of the hostel and into the city.

day-11-canal
Featured10/31/2010

22 Days in Japan, Day 11: McDonald’s Has Never Tasted So Good


And there goes Nagoya. I’m in Osaka, the third phase of my journey into Japan.

day-10-penguin-post
Featured10/16/2010

22 Days in Japan, Day 10: A Trip to the Zoo


Today’s my last real day in Nagoya, and I closed it, in part, by going to the zoo. I haven’t been to the zoo in 10 years.

day-9-dolphin
Featured10/2/2010

22 Days in Japan, Day 9: Sick Day


It’s Day 9, and I’ve just spent a full day trying to soak up as much of Nagoya as I can. Maybe I’ve soaked up a little too much.

One of Nagoya's many canals.
Featured9/23/2010

22 Days in Japan, Day 8: Don’t Go To Nagoya Castle at 5 PM


Day 8. One week of my trip is now officially over. Tokyo is long gone, and I’m now in Nagoya, after a three-hour shinkansen run where I amused myself by alternating between sleeping and playing 1990s era computer games on my laptop. And drinking my free orange juice.

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