A shinkansen "bullet train" slides into Shin-Yokohama station.
In Osaka people stand on the right side of the escalator. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!?
Dontonbori in Osaka is crammed with amazing restaurants and hungry customers
Entrance to Fushimi Inari shrine, famous for its trail with hundreds of torii gates
Not suprisingly, the ema prayer tablets are shaped like torii gates.
And this is how they stay dayglo orange!
Strange pickled vegetables for sale at Nishiki market
Lunch in Kyoto! Sushi and sashimi, tempura, cold udon noodles and miso soup. I've really started to like cold noodles now that I know what to expect!
Nijo Castle. Unfortunately no photos were allowed of the gorgeous interior. Fun fact: the castle floorboards are purposefully squeaky to reveal any intruders at night.
Kinkakuji Shrine, the famous "golden pavillion"
The Honganji temple's stark black and white theme was a contrast to the gaudy gold of Kinkakuji or Safety Orange of Fushimi Inari.
Very simple dark wood and white doors with just a touch of gold.
I'm guessing those giant iron screens were for protection against invaders and looters.
The sun begins to set over Kyoto, viewed from Kyoto Tower.
Sunset over Kyoto, from Kyoto Tower.
At night, the main streets flooded with people for the Gion Matsuri festival.
Delicious fried chicken is a staple festival food. Oh no, he spotted me!
"Sasebo Burger" was being ultra-American
Looks like fish on a stick isn't selling too well tonight.
The Yamaboko parade featured giant floats weighing more than a dozen tons and more than 75 feet in height.
All pulled by manpower!
One representative from a float team presents an offering to the city mayor (?) at the official reviewing stand.
Now that the monster is at an intersection, how does it turn?
Look carefully and you can see attendants laying down wet bamboo strips. The cart is then yanked by manpower to slide on these strips and turn!
The Kiyomizudera temple, famous for its overhanging terrace. It must be beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color!
Visitors line up to sample the waters from the temple (whose name means "pure water")
A zen sand garden at Kodaji temple.
Beautifully painted doors at Kodaji Temple
The sun reaches downwards through a bamboo forest
Sampling Kyoto's famous matcha!
A rickshaw runs past
Yasaka Shrine near Gion, focal point of the Gion Matsuri festival
Colorful ema prayer tablets
The neighborhood of Gion is preserved to look as it did in the past, and is one of the few remaining geisha districts
A boy chosen to represent a messenger from the gods is paraded past at Yasaka shrine
The boy is not allowed to touch the ground for the several days of the festival, so he is carried everywhere!
One of the neighborhood shines is paraded past
The neighborhood shrine is carried out from the temple and paraded around the local area
The Gion Corner theater had a demonstration of several classical Japanese arts.
Playing the shamisen