Steampunk Fairy Tales: Volume 2 now available!

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Travel

Japan Day 7: “Don’t Stare at the Monkeys in the Eye”

It was hard to believe we had another week in Kyoto, but there was still a lot to do. In this article, I cover a monthly handcraft market held on temple grounds, shrines nestled in the bamboo grove of Arashiyama, boats and rickshaws along the Hozu-gawa River, and a mountain park crawling with monkeys.

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Japan Day 6: A 700-Year-Old Marketplace

It was a rainy day when we visited Nijo Castle, the Nishiki Market, and the Kit Kat Chocolatory. Luckily, our hostel provided a pile of free umbrellas. I spent the morning copying notes in my Pomera typewriter and spilling a pitcher of water in the common area.

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Japan Day 5: Kimono Selfies at Kiyomizu-dera

Our fifth day was filled with kind people, the historic streets of Kyoto, a temple that was built in the 700s, and a giant rabbit statue. We rounded out the night with a trip to Kyoto Station, my favorite station in all of Japan.

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Japan Day 4: Uji, or The First Time Leslie Drank Too Much Tea

Uji is a city in Japan that’s known for its green tea. Japan is a country known for its green tea. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of green tea in Uji. It also happens to be one of my favorite places.

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Japan Day 3: Thousands of Torii Gates

Most of day 3 was in the fox shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha, where we hiked mountain paths dotted with thousands of vermilion torii gates. Afterwards, we visited the zen gardens at Tofukuji. To rest, we took a dip in a public bath, where I intentionally got zapped with electricity.

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Japan Day 2: Aquarium, Osaka Castle, & Umeda Sky Building

Since we booked our rooms incorrectly, we only had part of one day to see Osaka. We didn’t have many plans, but Leslie’s top destination was the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, since it’s among the few aquariums that has a whale shark.

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Japan Day 1: Flight to Osaka

It is with great pleasure that I am returning to Japan, this time with Leslie. It has been five years since I lived in Sapporo, Hokkaido, but looking back is like watching a movie of someone else’s experiences now. I might even have a hard time believing I had ever lived in Japan, if it weren’t for recently seeing my old friend, Tomohiro Suenaga, when he came to visit Pittsburgh and we travelled together to New York City.

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Things I Love About Japan: Mascots

Dave and I are recently back from an amazing two-week adventure in the historical city of Kyoto, Japan. While I sort through everything we brought back, I can’t help but linger over some things, and one of the most consistent themes of the trip was mascots.

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