Archive for the Japan Category

Quick Video from Beppu, Japan :)

Posted in Japan on June 23, 2011 by jpomio

Day 167 – Fukuoka, Japan

Posted in Japan on June 23, 2011 by jpomio

We departed Beppu this morning by train, arriving in Fukuoka two hours later. We were hoping to take an overnight ferry to South Korea tonight but due to maintenance, the overnight ferry is not operating until next Tuesday. Readjusting our plans, we went online at Starbucks where we booked a hotel in Fukuoka and bought tickets to depart tomorrow morning on the more expensive Beetle (a super high tech hydrofoil ferry). Once we got everything ironed out, we began our walking tour of Fukuoka. Fukuoka has a GREAT vibe with its outdoor food vendors and the Nakagawa River.

(Maizuru Park)


(Fukuoka scenes)


(Kushida Shrine)


Day 166 – Beppu, Japan

Posted in Japan on June 22, 2011 by jpomio

This morning we said goodbye to Hiroshima and hopped on a train heading for Beppu. Upon arriving at our lodgings, we dropped off our bags and quickly began exploring this town. Beppu is located right on the ocean against a beautiful backdrop of mountains. With volcanic activity underground, Beppu is the hot spring capital of Japan. After taking a stroll along the coast and enjoying the scenic ocean, we visited an onsen where we soaked our bodies in the rich mineral waters of Beppu. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner in a traditional Japanese restaurant packed with locals. On our way home tonight, we met an incredible musician in an underpass tunnel. Naturally we stopped to appreciate and listen to his awesome voice and acoustic guitar skills.



(Pachinko machine – that’s right, we just had to try it 🙂


(Tonight’s dinner)


Day 165 – Miyajima, Japan

Posted in Japan on June 21, 2011 by jpomio

Awaking to some gorgeous weather this morning, we continued to explore the Hiroshima metropolis. First we visited Rijo, a beautiful wooden castle which was rebuilt after the war in accordance to the original structure. After walking through Hiroshima’s city center, we took a train and then a ferry to Miyajima Island. Miyajima’s natural beauty is absolutely stunning. We had an amazing time visiting the Itsukushima Shrine (a World Heritage site which dates back to 593) and going on a nature walk.

(Hiroshima Castle – Rijo)


(Miyajima Island)


(Itsukushima Shrine)


(Other scenery on the island)




Day 165 – Hiroshima, Japan

Posted in Japan on June 20, 2011 by jpomio

We departed Tokyo this morning and headed for Hiroshima. Our two Shinkansen train rides flew by very quickly. Upon arriving in Hiroshima, we checked into our hotel and then began exploring this historically significant city. We spent a lot of time in the Peace Memorial Park today, a tranquil place promoting world peace. This beautiful park is dedicated to the 200,000 victims of the first atomic bomb which obliterated Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. It was very heart-breaking seeing the A-bomb Dome (a structure now designated as a World Heritage site).

(Peace Memorial Park)


(Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound – contains the ashes of many of the victims who were killed by the bomb)


(Children’s Peace Monument and the monument dedicated to Korean victims and survivors – 10% of the victims were Korean)


(Peace Bell)


(A-bomb Dome)




Day 164 – Nikko, Japan

Posted in Japan on June 19, 2011 by jpomio

Today Ryan and I took a day trip to Nikko. Nikko is a World Heritage site because it contains very elaborate temples and shrines from the Tokugawa era. The cedar trees in Nikko National Park are absolutely stunning. I could see why the Tokugawa Shogunate decided to construct their structures here, what a pristine setting! We had a wonderful time exploring Nikko’s history and natural beauty.

(Shinkyo Sacred Bridge)


(Sho-yo-en Gardens)


(Toshogun Shrine grounds)


“hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil”


(Iemitsu Taiyuin Temple grounds)




Day 163 – Tokyo, Japan

Posted in Japan on June 18, 2011 by jpomio

Tokyo is huge!!! You can spend two weeks here and still not see it all. Today we visited the Marunouchi area which is home to the beautiful Imperial Palace Gardens. Next, we went to Ginza where there are many historic department stores and prestigious boutiques (a shopaholic’s dreamland). We concluded the day in the main part of Tokyo, the Shinjuku area. Shinjuku is Tokyo’s entertainment district. It was definitely “happening” today since it is Saturday night.



(Imperial Palace Gardens)




(View of Tokyo at night from the Tokyo Municipal Government Building Observatory)