Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bali and Western Honshu... check!

I left for Bali 2 weeks ago today (I think). Laurac and I got our PADI diving certification and saw numerous pretty fishies. More on that later. Less than 24 hours upon my return, J and I set off on a 5 day roadtrip. We saw nearly all of Western Honshu, and hit 13 ken. If you look at the lovely map I have provided, you can see we started just north of Fukui and hit the following:

Miyazu (Amanohashidate, one of the 3 great views of Japan)
Tottori (Tottori-sakyu, famous sand dunes)
Izumo (Izumo Taisha, the oldest Shinto shrine in Japan)
Tsuwano (Taiko-Inari-jinja, fox shrine on top a hill on which you have to walk through 1100 red torii (gates))
Fukuoka (Tocho-ji where the biggest wooden buddha presides, and Shofuku-ji the oldest Zen temple in Japan)
Iwakuni (Kintai-kyo the 5 arched Brocade Sash Bridge, and happened to be having a festival when we came)
Kurashiki (old black-tiled district that serves as a craft centre and lies along a stretch of moat, and where we finally found birthday presents for each other)
Okayama (U-jo (crow castle) we got to see it at night and in the daytime, and Kouraku-en, one of Japan's 3 finest gardens)
Bizen/Imeda (town known for its distinct pottery)
Himeji (white egret castle, most famous in Japan (I had seen it before, but Josh never had, so we took a quick detour), and wicked falafel at an Iranian restaurant I found last time I was there)
Eihei-ji (one of the two head temples of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism founded in 1244 the surrounding town was also having a festival when we came, mmm... chocolate dipped banana!)
Tojinbo and Ojima (rock formations similar to Giant’s Causeway in N. Ireland, and a grilled squid on a stick!)

I crashed in Toyama on Sunday because I am a lazy bastard and J is a saint. More details and pictures when I get my camera back from the blackhole of Sunshine 88.

Coming to school on Monday was like walking out of the calm eye of the hurricane into the chaotic debris flinging madness.

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