Japan

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Quick-stop in Transit

Hakata is best known for two things: being home to the largest wooden Buddha and Hakata Ramen. We tossed our bags in a coin locker at the station, halfway between…

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Storming the Castle

A quick 45 minute Shinkansen ride dropped us at Kumamoto Station. The city is best known for it’s castle, Kumamoto-jō, which was completed in 1607. The original was burned after…

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Blooms and Volcanoes

Arriving in Kagoshima in the late afternoon, we checked in and relaxed for a bit before heading back out for dinner. It was great to see Miwa, who was in…

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Nagasaki: The Bell Rings at 11:02

Nagasaki Peace Memorial A morning train ride brought us up to the north part of Nagasaki. We first entered the Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims, which has a…

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Shinkansen to Nagasaki

The first Shinkansen voyage of the trip was a long haul. We left from Odawara Station, south of Yokohama. It was the first day the Japan Rail Pass was valid,…

Hakone Lunch

Hakone

Hakone and the surrounding area is a traditional gateway for people from Yokohama and Tokyo to escape the city and get out into nature. The area is mountainous and forested,…

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Kamakura

Kamakura was the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333. It was a time of great battles and feuds, but eventually a leader called Yoritomo set up his base at…

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Home

The following day, my former homestay sister picked us up to spend a few days with her family. On the way, we took a long, relaxing detour to Sankeien, an…

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Yokohama Reunions

Arriving at Yokohama Station, I felt like I was back on my old stomping grounds. I lived here for about a year, my senior year of high-school and the summer…

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Tokyo Continued

Since we used Choice Hotel points for our night in Tokyo, we were in a great, central location. The room was small but comfortable, and included a vast assortment of…