Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

Japan trip, June 2017

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

In June of this year we went to Himeji for a family reunion, it was fun! Zen has important tests this year, so we all just spent the whole week at Naoko’s family’s house chilling out and eating, giving Zen lots of quiet time to study… and he did study… a bit…

I did a trip to Osaka to see friends, and a trip to Kobe for shopping (I wanted to buy new tips for my boots, couldn’t find any, so I consoled myself by buying some great vinyl!). I also cycled around Himeji castle every day, until one day my rear tire blew up and I had to get it repaired.

Oh, I also found a great vinyl shop in Himeji, bought a bunch!!

Here are a bunch of photos. As usual, click on the picture to see a larger version.

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Zen, go Zen!!

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Homecoming party!!

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Himeji homecoming dinner!!

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Homecoming welcome!

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Himeji Castle!!

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Himeji castle!

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Himeji castle. I like this angle, and the great clouds…

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Himeji Castle park.

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Himeji Castle – Naoko & Zen!!

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Himeji castle with Naoko & Zen.

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Himeji castle

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Himeji castle terrace – for our picnic lunch, we found this weird columned structure…

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Himeji castle second moat, near Route Two. This was my first time coming to this part of Himeji.

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Himeji castle – second moat, near Rout Two. Never been here before!

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Himeji castle second moat!

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Himeji castle environs.

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Himeji castle – the second moat, where I’ve never been before until this year!!

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Himeji Castle, second moat.

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Himeji Castle – new view. Beyond the first moat, but I’d never been this way before.

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Himeji castle crane.

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Himeji castle crane.

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Himeji castle – splendid crane!!

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Himeji castle.

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Himeji Castle!!

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Himeji Castle!!

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Hey – watch it! The “don’t walk & text” warning!!

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Someone at Megane no Takaya has a sense of humour!!

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This is an Apple… this is a pen!! On the road to Osaka…

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The ramen bluesman whips up a feast!

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Chillin’ in Osaka with the ramen bluesman!!

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Our Okinawa mama – all heart!!

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With my homeys!!

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Our Okinawa mama – all heart!!

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Big & bigger!!

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Little lady, all heart!!

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Warriors… come out and play!!

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Boys in the hood… Kyobashi!!

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Tulip chicken in Kyobashi!!

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Now that’s soooooo-OOOOME tulip chicken!!

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Juso tachinomiya… great place!!

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Juso party!!

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Amazing punk rock!!

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This band is your band, this band is my band… a little bit of Hamilton in Juso!!

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The Gero! Love you guys!!

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The Gero – raw power!!

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My new best friend… I didn’t notice earlier that his t-shirt is Suicidal Tendencies, otherwise we would have had more to bond over.

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Wonderclouds!!

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House warming!!

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Housewarming party!!

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House warming!!

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House warming

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House warming!!

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House warming drinks!!

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Sochu lovely!!

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House warming sunset!!

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House warming party!!

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Himeji sunset!

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House warming party!!

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Great food – katsuo boshi!!

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Peter & Naoko – the cool people!!

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Amazing tofu!!

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Grandfather, grandson…

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Min Min gyoza shop in Kobe… love this place!!

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Min Min gyoza!!

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Kobe records!!

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Awesome dinner!!

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Something’s not quite right about this kanji… can you see what it is?

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Barbecue!!

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Barbecue battle!!

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Barbecue!!

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Barbecue time.

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Barbecue party!!

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Barbecue time.

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Barbecue!!

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Twilight serenade.

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Twilight in Himeji!

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Dinner time!!

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Eel dinner.

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Lovely soup!!

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Wonderful yakisoba on our last evening in Japan.

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Cucumber power.

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Last supper in Himeji for this year.

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My brother-in-law with a picture of him from a year ago (wearing the same clothes).

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Awesome ultra-karai ramen from Hope Ken!!

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Cucumber power!!

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Cucumber power!!

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Okonomi-yaki! Our last meal in Himeji before going back to Singapore.

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Okonomi-yaki dinner… our last meal in Himeji for this trip.

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Zen’s study parlour. How cool is this!?!

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Zen and his grandmother.

Our trip to Japan!!

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

So we were in Japan from June 9th to June 24th. It was a great trip – we’d planned to be there for the 50th anniversary memorial of Naoko’s great grandfather, when there’d be a family gathering and a special ceremony at the temple. But that was only one day, so we spent a week taking the train around Kyushu, seeing that beautiful island for the first time, hanging around in Himeji, and also doing fun things like going off to see friends in Osaka, eating good food, and drinking beer. We also saw a Hanshin Tigers game!!

But why don’t I let the pictures tell the story!! Sorry, some of these pictures are out of order, not sure why that happened…

As usual, click on the picture to see a larger version of it.

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Calayer curry shop in Osaka! Spicy curry!!

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Calayer curry – the only curry shop that specialises in Slayer!!

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Korean barbecue!!

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Cooked Korean barbecue in Tsuruhashi!!

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Tsuruhashi with friends!!

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Ready to hit the road…

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Hello Kitty mentaiko!!

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In the yatai area of Hakata.

Eating ramen in Hakata!

Grabbing some Hakata ramen!!

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Ready to ride to Nagasaki!!

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Nagasaki train station…

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Nagasaki Chinatown…

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Nagasaki Chinese food!!

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The Peace Memorial in Nagasaki.

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Nagaski ice cream!!

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This cathedral was only 200 metres from ground zero, but it has since been rebuilt.

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Ground zero.

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Never again.

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Nagasaki a-bomb museum

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A thousand cranes for peace.

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Nagasaki

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Nagasaki

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Nagasaki

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Nagasaki – Zen restaurant!!

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Nagasaki

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Nagasaki’s other cathedral. Beautiful!!

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View over Nagasaki.

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Glover Garden.

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View of Nagasaki from Glover Garden.

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Foreigners’ house museum in Glover Garden.

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View of Nagasaki port from Glover Garden.

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Sakurajima, an active volcano near Kagoshima.

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Yummy beer!!

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Sashimi!!

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Dinner in Kagoshima. We liked the city so much, we stayed two days – one day longer than we’d originally planned.

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Breakfast in Kagoshima.

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Heading out to Sakurajima.

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Checking out Sakurajima.

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Hot spring.

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Heading back to the city.

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On our way to Ibusuki by special train – the Ibutama. Very cool!!

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On a special tourist train to Ibusuki.

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At the Ibusuki hot spring.

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People are buried up to their necks in hot sand. It’s supposed to make you feel good. Naoko and Zen loved it!!

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While Naoko and Zen did their hot sand therapy, I wandered around the Ibusuki shore. Nice town!!

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Kagoshima cool!!

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Great breaded cutlets!! The restaurant was a bit gloomy, though…

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Polar bear shaved ice dessert!!

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Misty morning hop…

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Beppu!!

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Beppu shopping alley…

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Weird drawing!!

Beppu's onsen jigoku tour first stop - umi jigoku.

Beppu’s onsen jigoku tour first stop – umi jigoku.

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One of the hot spring places had a zoo, with this scary hippo!!

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It’s hot!!

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A crocodile!!

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A sea of crocodiles!!

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Hot hut.

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Beppu – hot spring town!!

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The gift shop…

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A geyser!!

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Our lovely dinner – sashimi!!

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Fish maw – doesn’t look like much, but it was probably the best food I had in Japan on this trip!!

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On our way to Yufuin!!

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Yufuin

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Heading back to Hakata

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On the road to Hakata

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Himeji skies

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Naoko’s parents’ family altar

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The village temple

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The memorial service.

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Himeji’s smallest house.

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Daijobu restaurant…

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Fujino…

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Nice dinner, cool people, great food!!

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…and plenty to drink!!

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Zen and Speedy!!

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In front of the temple. Zen wore his school uniform.

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The men’s corner…

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Dried octopus…

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My niece made this funny picture of me…

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Catfight!!

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Heading out to Koshien stadium to see the Hanshin Tigers play!!

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We brought our dinner!!

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Weird platform warning sign…

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Warning signs on the road to my second Osaka visit!!

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Great Osaka food!!

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Awesome dish!!

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Cliff ‘n’ Matt in Osaka!!

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A downtown Osaka eatery!!

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Out for some lovely okonomiyaki!!

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Found this old radio in the room…

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old radio in the okonomiyaki shop

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Cycling around Himeji one day…

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Trying out Hope-ken’s spicy ramen – yum!!

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Spicy!!

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Himeji castle!!

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Speedy!!

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Barbecue fun!!

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Meaty!!

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Getting ready for a barbecue on our second-last night in Japan!!

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Tastes great!!

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Awesome barbecue!!

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Daichi and Naoko!!

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Himeji Castle!!

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Japan trip 2015

Monday, September 14th, 2015

On September 5th, just two days after coming back from a trip to Hong Kong, the three of us bundled off to Japan for our first family vacation of the year (yes, it’s been a strange year…). We had some great times meeting friends and partying. It was a lovely time.

On one of my first days in Japan, I bundled off to Osaka to meet my good friend Matt. Man, those were some good times. I’d meet Matt again before it was all over…
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Here’s an artistic shot of crumbling Osaka.
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The grandkids!
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An okra with a sense of humor…
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Lovely Himeji.
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Uncle’s house.
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Uncle’s house.
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Zen got Lego!
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Zen got Lego some more…
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…and some more!
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Done!!
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My guy.
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A crane in the river.
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Reading A Farewell To Arms.
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Oppai park in Kobe
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Zoom!
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Hangin’ out with the Godin fans!
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Kent Brockman!?!?
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Sad Zen…
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Funny guys!
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All In The Family
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Hairy crab!!
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Gorgeous feast!!
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Another crane, this one in the sky.
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Night at Doga Magre, with the masters!
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People party!
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Star!
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Party people.
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We met a famous Osaka comedian!
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Himeji castle renovations are done!
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Yay!
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Yay!!
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Great place.
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Love it!
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Eternal!
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A view.
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All right!
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My room.
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