Japan

Japan budget

Japan is expensive, that’s what you hear. Well, not that much, actually. Twenty years of deflation have left a mark in their price levels. As did the recent depreciation of the Yen against the Euro, losing 40% within a couple of months. If you have visited London, New York or San Francisco, you won’t find […]

Back to Tokyo

I hopped onto the Shinkansen again this morning, speeding back the 894.2 km in around 4h45, which includes the little stop in Osaka. It’s an amazing technology, and such a smooth ride. Time flies. The tracks run through what is I guess the most populated areas of Japan, honestly it seems like one big continuous […]

That day

When I was a kid, I read this book with stories from the children in Hiroshima who survived the explosion, at least long enough to tell their story. Where they were on what they simply called ‘that day’, what they did when they saw that bright light, when they flew through the air, when they […]

Okonomiyaki

Ok, I hereby officially declare this blog a food and temple blog. Now that this is out of the way, here’s the latest culinary discovery: Okonomiyaki. I had already seen them being prepared at the late night hanami in Osaka, but they were all made with meat – I asked. It turns out, they are […]

Miyajima Island

After the sad first day in Hiroshima, I needed something uplifting. A trip to nearby Miyajima Island, best known for its floating torii gate at the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine. The torii is the traditional Japanese gate usually found at the entrance of a Shinto shrine This one is special though, and it might easily be one of the most […]

Kyoto (again)

I went back to Kyoto today, to see more of the Kyotographie exhibitions, especially the photographic exploration of Mars, as well as some interesting images of Japanese landscapes and homes, called ‘Where we belong‘.   However, it was a bright sunny day with blue skies, so I went to see one more temple, Kinkaku-ji, the Golden […]

Shitennō-ji flea market

I wanted to go to a flea market. And ended up in a temple. The Shitennō-ji Buddhist temple, the first Buddhist temple in Japan, dating from the 6th century (albeit rebuilt), holds a flea market and produce market on the 21st and 22nd of each month. I love flea markets and it wasn’t far, so off […]

Kyoto, with a difference

Honestly, after seeing temples and shrines in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nara, I wasn’t that keen on seeing Kyoto anymore. Call it temple fatigue. If JR had announced a major breakdown of their lines and I could not have gone, I wouldn’t have fussed about it…. But I went, nonetheless, and I have spent a whole […]

Osaka night life

I spent a bit time roaming around Osaka at night over the weekend, through the shopping arcades, the restaurants and the bars… Minami is one of the main areas to go out, and is crawling with people. I walked through what felt like the longest shopping arcade in the world, in between countless stores. You can […]

Slowing down in Osaka

I need to slow down. Seriously. Who thinks after six months and three weeks I’m relaxed as can be should ask my feet. Or my back and shoulders. I need a massage… I am mostly so tired right after breakfast I want to crawl back to bed…. I’ve been traveling too much and doing too […]

Temple overload

The old (and first) capital of Japan, Nara, is only 50 minutes away on a JR line that I can ride free with my rail pass, so it’s ideal for a day trip. I arrived around 11 and walked up to the main park, following the tracks of my Lonely Planet guide, with so many […]