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Home > Photos


The Japan Album

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Mt Fuji

Upon arriving in Tokyo, we were on the lookout for the iconic Mount Fuji in the distance. Unfortunately, clouds blocked the view the entire time except for a brief window on the day Mike descended from the peak. Alana took this photo while hiking around the Kawaguchiko Lake., 9/15/2008


We stayed in ryokans – traditional Japanese inns. The rooms are great, especially if you are travelling with a baby because they are basically childproof. The room is simply furnished with a low table, pillows, tatami floors and sliding doors., 9/14/2008


A Japan Rail Pass is a must for anyone travelling through Japan. Riding the bullet train to and from Tokyo was a great experience., 9/13/2008

Dean's Seat

While we travelled mostly on trains and buses, Dean had the additional luxury of riding around Japan in his backpack baby carrier., 9/20/2008

Shopping in Tokyo

Our days in Tokyo were brief and primarily consisted of shopping. Here is Alana just outside the Harajuku station. She is not a cosplay girl, but we did see a few lollitas roaming the streets among thousands of weekend shoppers. , 9/14/2008

Manga Crazy

Mike was interested in immersing himself in the world of Japanese manga and anime, which is everywhere in Japan. The hard part, however, was finding English translations., 9/14/2008

Fuji up close

For most of our days in and around Tokyo, it was too cloudy to see Mt. Fuji. After climbing, however, there was a brief window of clarity. This is a picture of Fuji-san from the fifth station – the highest point on the volcano accessible by vehicle., 9/16/2008

Fuji Sign

How much further? I didn’t understand some of the signs on the way to the top of Fuji., 9/15/2008

Mt Fuji Eighth station

Mike climbed Fuji the easy way (relatively speaking) by spending the night on the volcano at the Eighth Station mountain hut. It being out of season, there were only three others staying in a facility that can sleep 300. Mike climbed to the summit early the following morning., 9/15/2008

Fuji Above the Clouds

Due to rainy weather, there was not much to see from the Fuji summit. On the descent, however, the clouds started to clear revealing amazing views of the valley and lakes below., 9/16/2008

Kawaguchi Hike

Alana was gracious enough to take Dean and let Mike hike up Fuji. While Mike was hiking, Alana and Dean did some hikes of their own around the Kawaguchi chair lift., 9/16/2008

Kamakura Hike

After hiking around the Fuji highland region, we headed to Kamakura and wound up hiking some more. There is a beautiful trail linking some of the many temples found in Kamakura. Dean has no problem sleeping in the baby carrier even if you are clamouring up and down rocky terrain., 9/17/2008


Alana purifying herself at the chozuya upon entering the Kotoku temple – home of the Great Buddha, 9/17/2008

The Buddha at Kamakura

This is a bronze statue of Buddha that is 13.35 meters (43 feet) high and weighs 93 tons. While the statue itself is amazing, so is its history. Built in the 1200s, it has survived a tsunami that took away the wooden temple that originally housed the statue., 9/17/2008


The Jochi-ji temple sits amid a pleasant and peaceful Japanese garden. This was the first temple we visited and we were impressed with the architecture and carpentry., 9/17/2008

Jochi-ji Interior

Mike enjoys the sparsely furnished spaces inside Japanese living spaces., 9/17/2008

Amazing Temple

After a long and hot day of hiking between temples in Kamakura, we were tired and agreed to visit one last temple since it was ranked no 1 (whatever that means). Upon entering the Kencho-ji complex, the structure and carpentry amazed us. This is a highlight of our trip and defiantly recommended as a must see site., 9/17/2008

Amazing Climb

Mike went to check out one of the subtemples and set out along a path snaking through neighbourhoods and eventually leading to the bottom of many steps. On top was another set of steps, followed by another and then another. The temple was rather small and behind the temple were more steps leading to a lookout with amazing views over the city and out to sea. Behind the lookout were yet more steps taking you to the top of the ridge with more views over the surrounding valleys. It climb was as rewarding as it was arduous., 9/17/2008


The ryokan we stayed in Kyoto was located near the Hongan-ji temple and we walked over on a rainy morning., 9/19/2008

Playing with Fire

Alana teasing the dragon in Hongan-ji, 9/19/2008

Rooftop Tiles

Detail of the Nijo-jo rooftop tiles - every temple has a unique pattern., 9/20/2008

Orange Temple

The Kiyomizu-dera temple is built completely from wood – there is not a single nail., 9/20/2008


This geisha was walking down a street near Teapot lane in Kyoto. , 9/20/2008

Samurai Castle - Himeji

The Himeji castle has a great tour that allows you to walk through the castle and see all the cool features. We walked through many levels, into rooms lined with sword racks, and poked our heads into hidden rooms. You could image that this would be nearly impossible to invade not to mention contending with all of the samurais waiting inside., 9/22/2008

Castle View

This picture was taken from a high level of the Himeji castle and is a view of the surrounding town. The roads and pathways were organized in a maze to make is difficult for would-be invaders to access the castle., 9/22/2008

Superstar Dean

Dean was constantly drawing a crowd and is now in countless photos. He was aware of his celebrity status and worked his smile all the time, regardless of his mood., 9/22/2008


Yet another temple that we visited - this one is the largest building made completely of wood. Inside there is a very large statue of Buddha., 9/23/2008

Golden Temple

The Kinkaku-ji temple was the most beautiful temple we visited. That is in fact gold covering the top half!, 9/24/2008

Vending Machines Everywhere

Mike was susceptible to impulse buys from the ubiquitous vending machines. The soothing hum and bright lights lured him in where he was fascinated by the array of products on offer. In most cases, he knew what he was buying and only had buyers’ remorse a couple times., 9/18/2008


A giant Tengu in the city of Kurama, 9/24/2008