Traveling Japan, Part 3: The Epic Conclusion

The shocking finale!

Himeiji castle

On August 28th I woke and checked out of my hotel in Kyoto.  I would be sleeping in Tokyo that night, but until then I wanted to use my unlimited rail pass to quickly visit the cities Himeji and Nagoya and see their castles.  First up was Himeji, which was west of Kyoto.  This was the farthest west I traveled during my trip.  Even with gloomy weather the castle looked awesome.  To imagine the people who have looked at its imposing structure over a history spanning hundreds of years was humbling.

Nagoya castle

After Himeji, my next stop was Nagoya.  Unlike Himeji Castle, Nagoya Castle is a modern recreation of the castle, which was destroyed during World War 2.  It was still very cool.  After exploring the castle I walked around Nagoya a bit and got dinner at a small restaurant.

Ginza

I then took the train to Tokyo, where I would stay until my trip back to LA.  I was staying in the historic and very posh neighborhood of Ginza.  I wandered aimlessly in the rain, looking at the lights.  I then got dinner at Lawson’s, since I was increasingly aware of my vacation approaching the limits of its budget.

Tokyo Edo Museum

After waking up I planned my day.  I would be leaving for the airport the next morning.  It was my last real day of sightseeing and I wanted to make it count.  I wanted to visit the Tokyo Edo Museum, the Tokyo National Museum, plus the shopping areas of Asakusa and Ueno in the hopes of getting the remaining souvenirs on my list.  First stop was the Tokyo Edo Museum, which chronicles the history of the city of Tokyo.  At the beginning of the Edo period (1600), Tokugawa Ieyasu made his capital Edo, rather than Kyoto, the capital that had served as the seat of the imperial family’s power.  After the end of the Edo period, the Meiji restoration, the new government chose to keep the capital in its location, but to rename it Tokyo.

Tokyo National Museum

The museum was about to close in 30 minutes when I arrived so I had to make it count.  I chose to check out the permanent collection of artifacts representing a huge span of time in Japanese history.

other stuff in Tokyo

Here are some other photos from Tokyo.

And now I am finally done posting photos from Japan.

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