Photos from Our Vacation in Japan

September 16-29, 2006

We spent one day shopping in Tokyo with the Hiraki family as incredible hosts, but then we went on to Osaka for a few days, where John gave his conference talk and spent the rest of out time in or around historic Kyoto. See also many pictures of Jasmine from this trip. We tried to hit many temples when she napped on John's back, so she doesn't appear in as many of the scenic shots. It's also pretty challenging to get our rambunctious, independent daughter to stay still for a photo - unless she's trapped in the backpack!

John's friends - the Hiraki family: Chiaki (mom) and Nao (6 yrs old)

Himeji Castle - an authentic medieval castle and a great workout for John hiking up the hill and a dozen stories with Jazz on his back

not as well framed as we would have done if we had remembered our handy travel tripod (doh!)

Nijo castle - all that remains after fires are these palaces and their gardens

beautiful painted screens in Nanzenji - one of the few places that didn't prohibit photos

Zen garden at Nanzenji

gardens of Eikando Temple - one of the many beautiful ones in Kyoto

on our first day in the Gion district of Kyoto, we stumbled upon this Geisha parade

even some Geisha smiled at cute little Jasmine

our room in a ryokan, a traditional Japenese inn. Jazz loved the table at her height and the bed on the floor.

breakfast in our room served by a very sweet lady in a kimino. We stayed here our last four nights. It was definitely worth the extra money!

Yasaka shrine, which was only about a 5-minute walk from our Ryokan

tori behind Yasaka Shrine

Maruyama Park behind the shrine - Jazz loved chasing the pigeons here and a local even gave her some bread to try to feed them

another beautiful garden - this time at Chion-in Temple

Japanese go to great lengths (and heights!) to prune their trees precisely

one of many great lanterns in these gardens

a separate, more recent garden in Chion-in

front gate to Hiean Shrine

John captures a glam shot of Jazz and Wanda - taken from the main Hiean Shrine Gate looking toward the Hiean Shrine Tori

Heian Shrine Tori

one of the many beautiful buildings inside the Hiean Shrine

the stepping stone bridge in Hiean Gardens

Yasaka Pagoda with obliging tourists and rickshaw driver

modern ceiling at Kennin-ji Temple just a 2-minute walk from our Ryokan - the scale is enormous even though you can't tell in this photo

an inner courtyard garden at Kennin-ji

Gods of Thunder and Wind on the screens at Kennin-ji.

starting up the hill at Kiyomizu Temple, which was uncomfortably packed with tourists

John's turn for a glam shot at Kiyomizu Temple

beautiful view from this hilltop temple

a small bamboo forest on the way down from Kiyomizu Temple

a few maples were starting to turn in a courtyard garden on the way to Tenryu-ji - the start of our day trip to the Arashiyama area of Kyoto

John loved these stones at the entrance to Tenryu-ji Temple - Wanda was not quite as impressed

another beautiful pond in the garden at Tenryu-ji Temple

unusual roofs at Tenryu-ji Temple

a small courtyard garden at Tenryu-ji Temple

a cool modern screen at Tenryu-ji Temple

garden at Okochi-Sanso (Wanda's favorite garden). This garden and the corresponding villa used to belong to a Japanese silent movie star

this incredibly lush moss was part of what Wanda loved about this 5-acre garden

huge, spooky bamboo forest in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto