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Trip Report David's Abbreviated Trip Report-Japan, Part 2-Sakura 2017

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Hi everyone. Sitting here at my ryokan on the shores of Kawaguchi-ko on my last full day in Japan. Seems like an appropriate time to share my thoughts on this, my second trip to Japan. My first trip was in Nov. 2013 to see the koyo/fall colors and so it seemed logical to return for trip #2 to see the Sakura this spring.

On this trip, I visited Tokyo, Kamakura, Kyoto, Himeji. Koyasan, Hikone, Kanazawa and Kawaguchi-ko. Start to finish, it will be 19 days from the time I left Minneapolis. Overall, it was another wonderful trip and I will continue to be a huge ambassador for Japan to my family and friends.

Highlights:

1. Seeing the Great Buddha of Kamkura
2. Shopping in Kappabashi and picking up an awesome yanagiba and deba.
3. Having the pleasure of staying once again at Hotel Mume in Kyoto with Hisako and her team. Hotel Mume, along with the Witt Istanbul are my two favorite hotels in the world.
4. Seeing the Miyako Odori geisha performance in Kyoto. THANK YOU to Hotel Mume for arranging my ticket in advance. I LOVED it!
5. Kenrokuen garden and hitting full bloom Sakura in Kanazawa.
6. The incredible sushi meals I had at Koutin in Kanazawa and Matsudaya and Kappazushi in Kyoto.
7. Collecting 24 stamps and seals from the temples and shrines I visited.
8. Himeji Castle
9. The cool visit to Ide Sake Brewery here in Kawaguchi-ki
10. The mind-blowing views today of snow capped Mt. Fuji, from here at my ryokan as well as from my visit to Chureito Pagoda. Without a doubt it is the most beautiful natural wonder Inhave ever seen.

Downsides:
1. The occasional rudeness or dismissiveness one occasionally receives as a solo traveller.
2. Being made to feel like a total foreigner at the Ninja temple in Kanazawa.
3. (Sorry to get personal here...). Experiencing some wonderful, romantic things like intimate sushi dinners at tiny restaurants, gazing out at Mt. Fuji across Kawaguchi-ko from the ryokan patio or walking under the full bloom cherry blossoms in Kanazawa and not being able to experience it with the man I've loved for 15 years but will never have. <sigh>

Japan once again has proved to be an alluring, exciting, enchanting and stimulating destination. It's people have so much to do with this. Will I come back again after 2 trips? Yes, perhaps. I could see myself coming back to either visit volcanoes and onsen in Kyushu or to hike Hokkaido in spring.

Hope this abbreviated report was of Interest and value. Happy to answer any questions anyone has. Signing off for now from the shores of Kawaguchi-ko.

David

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