Our first full day in Japan, Craig and I tagged along with a couple of couch-surfers and went to Osaka Castle.
I love these souvenir pin-ball machines.
Nara to Kyoto
On our way to Kyoto we spent the day in Nara, famous for the tame deer which roam the city and Nara Park.
According to legend, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country.
Also? they are ADORABLE.
In Kyoto, we walked for miles and miles through winding streets, temples around every second corner.
My favourite moment was spotting this Geisha at Kyomizu-Dera.
EDIT: I've been advised (ahh the wonder of the internet) that it's actually a tourist dressed up like a Geisha. Which is a little disappointing but I suppose it's as close as I was ever going to get. If we'd had more time in Kyoto, and more money, then I wanted to try this as well! Next time, maybe.
Our last day in Kyoto, we visited the Fushimi-Inari shrine which has thousands of these bright red Torii lining mountain paths.
As we walked the paths the rain set in, we had umbrellas and rain coats and most of the rest of the tourists cleared out. It was magical.
We caught the Shinkansen to Hiroshima in the evening.
A watch frozen by the Atomic Bomb, in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
We spent the morning at the Mazda Museum (yes, seriously) and the afternoon at Peace Park.
Ahhh, the Osaka Aquarium. I loved seeing the Whale Sharks but it was the Manta Ray that took my breath away.
Our last day in Osaka. We wandered the shopping district with Tim and Mio (how cute are they? answer? VERY) before collecting our bags and heading off to Kansai International Airport.
In the grounds of Hiroshima Castle, Craig was checking I had myself framed properly. I was peering at him in this photo.
(More Japan photos in the next week or two!)