Osaka was our last stop in Japan, and although we were exhausted, we managed to have one very full day visiting the castle, floating garden, and Dotonbori Street.
Hiroshima is known for its historic destruction during WWII. The city has once again become a bustling metropolis, but it is also a place of remembrance. Hiroshima has developed its own, new legacy by promoting worldwide peace and education of the repercussions of war. While in Hiroshima, we also took a day to visit another world heritage site, the Itsukushima Shrine and its famous watery torii gate.
Most people come to Himeji for one reason, and so did we, to see the Himeji Castle. It is typically a day trip from Kyoto or Osaka, but we made it a pit stop on our way to Hiroshima.
Usually done as a day trip from Kyoto, visitors travel to Nara to see ancient temples deemed a world heritage site, Big Buddha, and the free roaming deer.
Before coming to Japan, we heard countless times to make sure to spend a few days exploring the ancient capital of Kyoto and its thousands of picturesque temples scattered across the city.
Often while traveling we discover that we are a day too early or too late for a special event in a given city. By luck, our visit to Takayama coincided with the two-day Spring Festival, which is considered one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan.
We continued our adventure through Japan by getting some hotel rooms in the middle of Tokyo, ideally positioned for checking out all that this humungous city has to offer.
Yokosuka is best known throughout Japan for having a large American Naval Base. For us, Yokosuka was a place to visit our friends for a wonderful introduction to Japan, where we would be spending the next three weeks.