Japan 2005

Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto

In September of 2002 I traveled around Japan with my wife's family for 12 adventurous days.

Japan can be a very perplexing place for a Westerner to understand but my wife's two brothers, Harry and Frank, are very knowledgeable and capable guides. Harry lived and went to university in Kyoto and Frank travels to Japan twice a year on business.

I was fortunate to be among insiders who could explain the culture and history and show me places I never would have been able to discover on my own. Traveling with people able to reveal so much about such an ancient, mysterious and beautiful place was an extraordinary experience.

The grounds outside the Imperial Place in Tokyo with hand-shapped pine trees.

Imperial Palace

Outside moat and wall of the Imperial Place in Tokyo. Home to the Emperor and other members of the Royal Family. The grounds inside are only open to the public twice a year: on New Year's Day and on the Emperor's birthday.

Another view of the outer palace walls and moat. The Imperial Palace is located in the central district of Tokyo and had to be completely rebuilt after being destroyed during World War II.