The Land of the Rising Sun – Kyoto Part One

Bobby and I booked a hotel in Kyoto for five days, but made it six when we accidentally left Tokyo by train a day early.  I must say in all our hotel stays, that was a first. Luckily, our “sold out” hotel had an opening for the additional night (for 150% the cost, of course), so we didn’t have to search out somewhere new to stay.  Six days may seem like a lot of time in one city, but Kyoto was a good one to have a little breathing room. I think you could stay in Kyoto for three months and not see all the temples in the city.  There really are *that* many…. [Read More]

The Land of the Rising Sun – Tokyo Edition

The 3 lanterns

Before leaving Korea, we made a short list of places that we would like to visit.  Although we won’t complete it in time, we marked a huge one of my dream list by traveling to Japan two weeks ago.  We can’t really travel like we used to – changing hotels and cities every day or two – because we have a baby in tow.  We have to respect some semblance of a routine for Stella or we will be in for a difficult day, so we made the decision to base ourselves in two places -Tokyo and Kyoto.  We flew in to Narita International Airport and one of Bobby’s friends, who is currently stationed in Japan and lives in Tokyo, picked us up.  We spent 2.5 days in the capital city.  Even though I expected Tokyo to be just another big city, I was pleasantly surprised.  We ended up really enjoying ourselves and preferred Tokyo over the Korean capital city of Seoul…. [Read More]

The Baekje Cultural Land and Naesosa Temple

This was actually my favorite structure in the complex (it's not the actual temple. This houses the large drum)

When Stella and I finally got on Korean time, we were ready to take our first trip (albeit small) to some of the neighboring temples.  Our first jaunt was to the Baekje Cultural Land near Buyeo.  A fellow Air Force spouse had mentioned this complex and considering it wasn’t a very long drive (just a little over an hour), we decided to check it out.  Our second trip came the following weekend to Naesosa Temple in the Byeonsanbando National Park, south of base…. [Read More]