Magic in the air

© 2014 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 20 — 17 August 2010 On our twentieth day in Japan, we ventured back to the district of Arashiyama, to visit the famous bamboo forest and explore a little bit further into the mountains. Sadly, the beautiful photographs of … Continue reading

Burning mountains

Man writing names on lanterns for toro nagashi © 2014 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 19 – 16 August 2010 One of the things I was most looking forward to on our trip was a chance to experience Obon, a three-day Buddhist festival where many Japanese travel back to the town of their birth to … Continue reading

Manhattan/Kyoto

A fancy cocktail glass filled with a manhattan cocktail © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 18 — 15 August 2010 After the lights of Nara, we returned to Kyoto for a couple of drinks and some food at a little yakitori place. Just after midnight (ie today) we popped into a stunning cocktail bar on … Continue reading

Nara lights

Foreground: candles glowing in glass holders. Background: silhouette of a tree. © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 17 – 14 August 2010 Had a bit of a lie in (well, it was a Saturday) and headed straight to the train station as we planned to spend the day in nearby Nara (奈良市). A longer than expected train … Continue reading

Shrine on

Japanese temple set in a lush green forest © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 16 — 13 August 2010 There’s no getting away from the fact that Kyoto’s main attraction is its impressive collection of temples and shrines. I actually found myself surprised to see signs of the 21st century in the town … Continue reading

We’re going to Kyōto

© 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 15 — 12 August 2010 On our final day in Osaka we finally managed to find the coffee shop we’d tried to locate a few days earlier. You can find Vade Mecum by the tennis courts on Utsubo Park (near Hommachi tube station) … Continue reading

City heights

A woman looking out from the rooftop of a tall skyscraper over city lights below © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 14 — 11 August 2010 Our final full day in Osaka. Last chance to do some more shopping… Despite our hotel being located in Umeda, we had yet to actually scale the heights of the imposing Umeda Sky building. Completed … Continue reading

Water and lights

Large neon sign depicting a runner crossing the finish line with the Glico candy company logo above his head © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 13 — 10 August 2010 Neither Liz nor I are enormous fans of zoos/aquariums, but with five days in Osaka we thought we should vary the shopping and eating a little by heading to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan — … Continue reading

Browsers

Small playmobil figure stood on a table with arms in the air. © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 12 — 9 August 2010 It had been 10 days since our last indulgent day of shopping and exploring another side of Japanese culture (as opposed to ‘sight-seeing’): the mind-boggling variety of independent cafes, boutiques and concept-stores that litter … Continue reading

The tourists

Giant red ferris wheel seen from below © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 11 — 8 August 2011 One of the most charming aspects of Ōsaka is how fiercely proud Ōsakans are of their city — always being happy to tell you why it’s superior to snooty Tōkyō or quiet Kyōto. First stop on … Continue reading

Ōsaka streetlife

Black and white photograph of a man walking down a back-street in Osaka © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 10 — 7 August 2010 After Hiroshima, Miyajima, Iwakuni and Toyooka/Takeno, it was a return to civilisation on the cards next as we travelled to Japan’s third largest city: the port of Ōsaka. A massive change from the slow … Continue reading

Once more unto the beach

The sea at Takenohama with a number of bathers and mountains in the distance © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 9 — 6 August 2010 Horrifically sunburnt from the day before despite spending almost the whole time under the ‘shade’ of the umbrellas, we decided to take to the beach again slathered generously in sunscreen. We had noticed a … Continue reading