Temples and blossoms and shrines, oh my!

Part 2 of 2

The next day in Kyoto we planned on taking a scenic boat ride down the river. After multiple bus and train transfers to get there, we found out the tours were cancelled due to a rise in the river from heavy rainfall. The woman at the tourist desk was nice enough to recommend an alternative “romantic scenic train ride.” Although in her broken English, we couldn’t quite figure out where this train ride was. We found a ticket counter and flashed our romantic scenic train ride brochure only to be told “sorry, full all day.” So much for romance. But we soon discovered you a never far from something cool in Kyoto. We found yet another


Temples and blossoms and shrines, oh my!

Part 1 of 2

When I first decided to move to Japan, it conjured up images of Buddhist temples, sprawling gardens, cherry blossoms galore, and kimono-clad geisha teetering through narrow alleyways. I discovered this romantic image does exist. It’s in Kyoto.

While Okinawa is amazingly beautiful, it has been shaped by history in a much different way than mainland Japan. Repeated wars have ravaged the strategically positioned island, leaving behind only small reminders of the castles and temples that once graced the land. The island was also once