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On Japan 16, August 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Japan.
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So I’ve just returned to sunny Doha from two wonderful honeymooning weeks in Japan.

From Tokyo to Osaka via Mount Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan and Hiroshima. Needless to say, it was all super stuff. Here’s a quick list of probably pointless observations gleaned and dragged back from near-forgetfulness for your perusal.

Tokyo: what a place. I am an exceedingly big fan of sprawling, noisy (Asian) cities and Tokyo clearly is the daddy of them all. Aside from the typical variety of typical reactions to it (busyness, oddness in places, etc) my overarching thought was that it was awesomely noisy with Cicada-type bugs. They make a helluva a racket: Tokyo’s theme tune for me.

Fuji: easy (ish) getting up; a bitch going down (when you go the wrong way…). But I saw my first sunrise and it was wholly stunning.

Hiroshima on the 6th August: quite a moment to be there, on the anniversary. A carnival of peace atmosphere and a beautiful ceremony setting adrift thousands of little boat-cum-lanterns in the evening for those that died. At a gallery where survivors talked about their experiences, the chap who noted that what happened to Hiroshima was a terrible thing but ‘Japan too did terrible things during the war’ was the very personification of dignity and humility.

Kyoto: Temples and more temples and more temples and more temples and more temples. ‘Scuse me if I’m a pleb (which I surely am) but…well, clearly they’re stunning (golden one and an orange one in particular), but…well…seen one…

Nara: largest/oldest wooden structure still around: ’nuff said. Seen to be believed.

Koyasan: there for the 13th – Obon – the festival of the dead. In an amazingly atmospheric cemetery which was the perfect cross between Sherwood forest (i.e. all Robin Hood and that) and that Ewok planet, there were thousands of candles lit for the souls of the dead. Very beautiful. Trumped, however, by the temple of 10,000 lanterns, a fairly self-explanatory temple/building that is quite probably the single most stunningly beautiful and impressive sight that I’ve ever seen.

Osaka: can’t beat a huge Asian city.

– Food: wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Though beef, sushi and especially tempura is now, of course, ruined forever more. Or until I return.

Conclusion: visit Japan.


1. Rupert Neil Bumfrey - 16, August 2011

Congratulations to your wife and you.

2. xoussef - 16, August 2011

Oh the lucky pair ! Speaking of luck, did you bring Omamoris from all these temples? I would have.

thegulfblog.com - 16, August 2011

Very kind of you. Thanks.

thegulfblog.com - 16, August 2011

The fact that I just had to google ‘omamoris’ probably answers your question! Wish I had now, though!

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