September 20th, 2010

drinking bird

August in Japan [the end]

Tsuwano is a nice traditional town, with older houses in the former samurai quarter, sake breweries and, of course, temples.  along the streets of the old quarter are clear water channels with lots of colorful koi. But the pride of Tsuwano is the Taikodani-Inari-Jinja shrine, one of the largest Inari shrines in Japan. Like the one in Kyoto, a tunnel of over 1000 toriis lines the climb to it.

Tsuwano valley view, with the temple gate on the left

the torii walkway [and stairs]

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Our next stop was Kurashiki, which I really liked. It is a very nice town to stroll in. Lovely canals, older houses, nice shops [not just gift shops, but with many tempting items], museums, etc.

Older houses, with a tired tourist and another photographer

Canal, with tourist boat

One of the evenings there I went with a friend to a fun yakitori restaurant, very popular and noisy, with really delicious brochettes. Of course we were the only gaijin there and had to explain in our halting Japanese where we came from, etc. Much surprise and approval at hearing we had visited Japan several times.

Our trip ended in Osaka. We stayed in the Namba district, which was convenient to the train station. I didn't see much of Osaka, as it was really too hot. But in the evening we went out, had a lovely sushi dinner, and walked around, impressed by the animation, similar to Shinjuku or the Ginza. Osaka has canals too, but very urban.

Osaka canal, night view