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Bustling Osaka…our colorful host city

After our delightful afternoon in Nara, we returned to Osaka and began to experience our host city (the third largest in Japan [2.6 million] behind Tokyo [8.9 mil] and Yokahama [3.6 mil]), for thus far, she had only been a place to lay our weary heads. What we found was an energetic, colorful city. Our … Continue reading »

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The magic of Nara

On our second day in Japan, we visited Nara, the capital of Japan before Kyoto. We chose Nara based on a suggestion from a Japanese colleague (thanks, SK!), its proximity to Osaka (only 40 minutes by train), and its walkability, but really we had no idea what to expect. So, armed with maps from an … Continue reading »

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A speed date with Kyoto

Speed dating isn’t a great way to get to know someone, but it is a quick way to determine if someone is worth seeing again. That’s how I feel about organized sightseeing tours. A necessary evil, really, when time is short but desire is high. It goes without saying that a city with as rich … Continue reading »

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Our first impressions of Japan

Quiet. Polite. Helpful. …Elusive? These are our initial impressions after arriving in Osaka, Japan.  Please let me explain… With our first steps off the plane and into the Osaka airport, the quietness was noticeable. Christmas music was playing very softly (more on that in another post) and people spoke in hushed tones as we made … Continue reading »

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