11 Nights in Japan – $1,630.16

Getting close to the end of our time in Vietnam, I realized that I haven’t tallied up our expenses for Japan. The delay was initially due to waiting for charges, especially cash advances, to show up on the credit card. Then it was just lack of momentum.

All in, our 11 nights in Japan cost this family of five $1,630.16 Canadian.

That’s for everything. Flights from Boston to Tokyo, Tokyo to Kyoto round trip, all hotel fees we paid (only one night was a paid stay), all meals, currency conversion fees, activities and rail transport to get around the cities. That last one was by far our largest expense. Oh, and any miscellany as well. Check out the details below: Continue reading “11 Nights in Japan – $1,630.16”

Nijo-jo Castle

Tokugawa Ieyasu is an important name in Japanese History.  Appointed Seii-Taishogun (or Shogun) by the Emperor in 1603 after he unified Japan and ended the Civil War.  Under his rule he established the Tokugawa Shogunate which lasted over 260 years.

Tokugawa announced his appointment at Nijo Castle and used the castle as his residence when visiting the Imperial City.

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First Impressions of Kyoto

This is my view as I’m writing this. The photo does not do it justice. And we can only capture one section of it (photo tips welcome). There is a zoo directly below and five elephants rambling by not 700 metres away. Dozens of temples. And too many gorgeous green hills in the near distance to count.

Aside from the Japanese writing everywhere, Tokyo could have (almost) been any other large city with a temple thrown in every few blocks. In Kyoto… I feel like I am in a different country. Completely. This is what I’ve been waiting for… distant lands. Continue reading “First Impressions of Kyoto”

Tokyo – a Taste of History with Temples and Shrines


Buddhist Temple Tokyo

Tokyo – A Taste of History

Every hundred steps leads to a temple or shrine.  The first morning we walked by many without knowing what exactly we were looking at.  Fortunately, A little bit of help from the internet, and we gained some factual knowledge. For example, the red hats on the statues are generally gifts to bring luck or to ease suffering at the loss of a child.

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Konnichiwa from Tokyo

Isn’t that clever? I bet I’m the first one to use that post title.

Inspired Karate

With a population over nine million and a transportation system to go with it, I was completely intimated by visiting Tokyo. Most especially by the subway system that we certainly had to use if we wanted to see anything beyond our immediate hotel area.

Turns out it wasn’t so bad. Once we jumped in and made our first outing on Tokyo’s extensive underground, the second and subsequent rides were painless. And we felt old hat. Transportation in Japan is expensive. A cab from Narita airport (which is in a completely different city by the way) to the downtown area of Tokyo starts at 22,000 yen. That’s $255!?!

So subway travel in Tokyo was inevitable. Continue reading “Konnichiwa from Tokyo”