Official Name: Japan
Established: 710 (National Imperial Court), 29 November 1890 (First Constitution)
Population: 127,094,745 (2015 census)
Religion: 69% Shintoism, 66.7% Buddhism, 1.5% Christian, 6.2% other (Note: Most Japanese follow both Shintoism and Buddhism)
Order of Visit: Fifty Second
First Visit: 03 May 2015
Last Visit: 16 May 2015
Duration: 14 Days
– Kamakura: Seeing the Great Buddha at the Kotoku-in Temple, exploring the Hasedera Temple in particular the beautiful gardens.
– Koyasan: Experiencing the spiritual side of Japan, staying at the Karukayado Monastery, exploring Oku-no-in Cemetery during the day and especially at night, the Zen Garden at Kongobuji Temple, undertaking meditation, attending morning prayers and cleansing the soul.
– Kyoto: The stunning Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine Gates, visiting the tranquil Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, The Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji, the Shogun’s castle (Nijo Castle), participating in a Traditional Tea Ceremony, the outrageous Ninja Show
– Hakone: Viewing the impressive Mt Fuji, sailing over Lake Ashino-Ko, watching a traditional lock box being created, exploring Hakone Gore Park, embarrassing myself at a karaoke night
– Hiroshima: The very moving and emotionally tough Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the peaceful Shukkeien Garden, an Okonomiyaki dinner (cooked in front of me).
– Yokohama: exploring traditional Japanese houses at Sankeien Garden, visiting and learning history of the local China Town.
– Miyajima Island: The floating Torii Gate, the spiritual Toyokuni Shrine, rebirth at the Daishion Temple.
– Osaka: Enjoying the super-efficient Shinkansen Bullet Train, visiting Osaka Castle and surrounding area.
– Tokyo: Observing a Shintoism wedding ceremony, visiting Asakusa Kannon Temple, exploring Meiji Shinto Shine, Harbour boat cruise, riveted by the astonishing Robot Show, witnessing the Imperial Palace grounds, captivated by the very weird fashion district in Harajuku, visiting nerd heaven AKA the Akihabara electronic district.
Places Visited: Kamakura, Koyasan, Kyoto, Hakone, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Miyajima Island, Osaka, Tokyo
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