Photos of Japan
full country name Japan (Nippon/Nihon-koku)
capital Tokyo
population 127.3 million (as of 2001)
surface area 377800 sq km
currency yen (¥)
exchange rate US$ 1 = ¥ 116 (as of June 2003)
language Japanese
main religion 84% Buddhism / Shinto combination
Internet users 37% (as of 2000)
Japanese Moments
We are dizzy. I cannot believe it, but we are! After many months of traveling at average speeds of more or less 30km/h, watching the cities and landscapes zoom by from within the train from Kansai ... (more)
Meat Therapy
After travelling 8½ months in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand, I became acutely aware of meat in a non-grocery store kind of way. As a city girl, I know meat as cellophane ... (more)
Our route through Japan
Our route...
Roe upon roe of shrimp
Roe upon roe of shrimp / © gM
Lush gardens
Kenrokuen - lush gardens / © gM
The lioness holds a cub, the lion a sphere
The lioness holds a cub, the lion a sphere / © gM
Wooden plaques for wishes
Wooden plaques for wishes at Natadera / © gM
On June 13th, 2003, we flew from Bangkok, Thailand, to Japan's Kansai airport near Osaka, arriving early in the morning June 14th. We spent eight days with friends in Kanazawa, for Japanese standards, a small city of 450000. On June 22nd, 2003, we took the four hour train back to Kansai airport in order to return to Bangkok.

Wonderfully pleasant, Kanazawa is rightly the home of one of the top three gardens in Japan. Called Kenrokuen, its lush moss, its waterfalls and ponds with carp, its old trees held up by thick poles, its lanterns and paths, and its small hills with a view of the city make it a must see attraction. Kanazawa, however, is not just all gardens. There are the Ōmichō Market, many deras (Budddhist temples) and jinjas (Shintō shrines), and several worthwhile museums including a samurai house and a geisha house. On day trips from Kanazawa, we visited Hana Yū Yū (a beautiful orchid house), Natadera (a grand Buddhist temple), the seaside cliffs at Tōjinbō and the Tedori Gorge, as well as traditionally thatched houses and the Shishi World Museum featuring an impressive collection of lion masks.