Day Trip to Kawagoe


Kurazukuri warehouses with some appropriately dressed gentlemen in front

Having another free weekend in the Kanto area, we decided to finally visit Kawagoe, a town with many preserved kurazukuri warehouses from the Edo period, also known as Koedo (little Edo). Kawagoe, located in Saitama prefecture Northeast of Tokyo had been on our radar for a while, but we had never actually made it there. From Kawagoe station (Hon-kawagoe is a little nearer), it’s about 1km walk along a pedestrian shopping street to the Kurazukuri zone of the historical buildings.

Toki no kane – Kawagoe’s signature bell tower

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Kon-do (central hall) seen from behind

In our quest to see new sights in Kyoto, we decided to visit Chishakuin, the headquarters of the Chisan School of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism, located at the height of Shichijo, at the foot of Higashiyama. Being somewhat off the beaten track, it was wonderfully quiet and peaceful there (and as often, not really any worse than the completely overrun main sights). Behind the majestic Kon-do, smaller temple halls are nestled in the wooded foothills of Higashiyama. A special attraction is however its scenic garden.

Scenic garden at Chishakuin

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190107091510 Since we’re supposed to be working and it gets dark early, the only moment to squeeze in some sightseeing for us is the early morning. Kiyomizudera, unlike most other temples (which open at 9), opens already at 6am, so it’s a recurring destination for us. Another perk of showing up in the morning is that the place is empty, and we were able to just see the sun rise over Higashiyama. 190107092516 Continue Reading »

In Kyoto


Along Kamogawa, looking North

As always, we are also spending some time in Kyoto. The winter weather being what it is, we’ve had some sunshine, but also some cloudy weather. But we try to make the best of it, trying not to get too cold visiting temples in our socks and always buying too many cute things when we enter shops to warm up.
Hojo Garden at Chion-in

Hojo Garden at Chion-in

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Zojoji and Tokyo Tower Going up Tokyo Tower is the typical sort of thing one doesn’t do when one lives in a city. But since it’s been more than seven years since we’ve moved away and we felt like doing something new for once, we finally did it! We approached the Tower coming from Hamamatsucho Station, crossing the grounds of Zojoji, which were very busy. View from Tokyo Tower Continue Reading »

Happy New Year!

Yushima Tenjin

Waiting for the first sunrise of 2019 at Yushima Tenjin

Happy 2019! It’s the Year of the Boar (and even though I failed to take a picture, we managed to procure the zodiac tenugui this time). And we went, bright and early (and before the police closed the direct access due to overcrowding), up to Yushima Tenjin, in time to see the first sunrise of the New Year.
Later on, as usual, we went to Odaiba to enjoy the bright day, the beach and the Unicorn Gundam. Unfortunately, my plan to buy more Gunpla Model Kits got thwarted due to an enormous crowd queuing for fukubukuro at the Gundam Base.

Rainbow Bridge

A bright New Year’s Day at Odaiba

Back in Tokyo!


Asakusa: Looking down on Senso-ji and Nakamisedori

We’re back in Japan for a few weeks! In these last two days, we have been up and down Tokyo already. So many things to do (not to mention to eat!) in such a short time!

Near Ueno Park.

Apart from our usual haunts in Asakusa and Ueno, we’ve also been to the Nihombashi and Ginza nighborhoods.

Nihombashi looking towards Ginza

For the first time, we had a look at the actual Nihombashi bridge, but thanks to a new highway over the river, it has effectively turned into an underpass. So despite some fancy dragons adorning the bridge, the overall effect is quite underwhelming.

In Ginza