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Kyoto, Japan — December 2005

March 3rd, 2006
Since posting this entry I have split the photos on Flickr into multiple sets by location. Click here to see the sets: Kyoto [flickr.com], Himeji [flickr.com], Uji [flickr.com], Nara [flickr.com] and Tokyo [flickr.com].

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After visiting some of my family in Paris, Candice and I flew to Japan to meet up with Jonathan, Kim and Jim in Japan to rain havoc on ‘the island nation.’ Of course Jonathan and Kim arrived some days before Candice and I so the three of them had headed to Kyoto before us and it was up to Candice and I to navigate the train system from Narita airport to Kyoto.

It wasn’t too bad actually Japanese efficiency being what it is. And meeting up with our co-conspirators in Kyoto was easy — look for the crazy Gaijin in front of the train station. From their we settled in our friendly little Ryokan and hit the sack so we could begin our adventures early in the morning.

Early in the morning it was snowing! Which is very cool because part of the reason for going to Paris and Kyoto in the dead of winter (aside for it being the best time to meet everybody’s schedules) was to get some cold weather in — it doesn’t snow in Singapore and possibly never has.

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We spent a week exploring (or re-exploring in the case of Jonathan, Jim and I) Kyoto. We visited most of the major sites: Nijo-jo [wikipedia.org] where the Shogun [wikipedia.org] use to play, Ginkaku-ji [wikipedia.org] the Silver Pavilion and Kinkaku-ji [wikipedia.org] the Golden Pavilion. We revisited Heian Jingu [wikipedia.org] and visited a new (to us) site; Fushimi Inari-taisha [wikipedia.org].

We also ventured outside Kyoto to Uji [wikipedia.org] to visit the Byodo-in [wikipedia.org] a site Jonathan and I neglected with Stephen on our previous trip. Also outside Kyoto we visited Himeji [wikipedia.org] to visit it’s famous castle [wikipedia.org]. And we returned to Nara [wikipedia.org] to revisit the Todai-ji [wikipedia.org] to see the big Buddha.

Of course all this visiting of various things in and around Kyoto was second to the big thing I did in Japan — I asked Candice to marry me and she said yes as already covered here [confusion.cc]. Done in the beautiful afternoon light at Kinkaku-ji.

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After all this running around Kyoto we returned to Tokyo for a few days and visited a few places; Meiji Jingu [wikipedia.org], Sensoji [wikipedia.org] and all the famous streets, train stations, etc. Mostly we were in Tokyo to shop and meet up with some of Jim’s local friends so we could drink ‘sake’ and ‘beeru’ and eat much pub food. Unfortunately Jim doesn’t drink more than a few mouthfuls anymore — it messes with his concentration when he is meditating!

All in all a wonderful trip (even aside from getting engaged!) Can’t wait to do another trip with these guys. Travel is most fun when you’re with a bunch of like minded fools!

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