japan, you’re such a babe

I’ve been thinking a lot about Japan lately. Maybe because this year marks 20 years (how did that happen?) since I left Australia to begin my expat life – first stop the pretty university town of Kanazawa.

During the two years that I was there, I learnt to speak the language, accept the fact that I was taller – and blonder – than every other person in the world, ate a lifetime’s worth of sushi (I mean this literally) and spent six months helping a friend do coral reef research on the tiny island of Kikai-jima.

It would be more than a decade and a half before I would visit again. So much has changed – forget social media, blogging and the internet 2.0. We didn’t have email or digital cameras back then. I do have some photos in albums back in Australia. I’ll have to scan them in next time I’m home. For now, here’s a bundle from my recent (AKA 2012) visit to Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagano.

Fish heads at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market.

The orange arches at the Inari Temple, Kyoto.

The bamboo forest near Kyoto, Japan.

Paper prayer ties at a temple in Kyoto, Japan.

The beautifully arched roof of a Kyoto Buddhist Temple.

Rivers and mountains around Kyoto, Japan.

Beautiful green trees in a Japanese garden in Kyoto.

Octopus at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market.

Green tea and Mochi in Kyoto, Japan.

The golden temple, Nara, Japan.

Beautiful green trees in a Japanese garden in Kyoto.

Sake drums at a temple in Nara, Japan.

The beautifully arched roof of a Kyoto Buddhist Temple.

Beautiful reflections at a Japanese garden.

A Japanese temple in Kyoto.

Ramen in Kyoto.

Lanterns in Nara, Japan.

Fresh salmon salad at a ryokan in Nagano, Japan.

Lion sculpture at a Japanese temple.

Incense burning at a temple in Nagano, Japan.

Beautiful Japanese trees and gardens.

Temple in Nagano, Japan.

Offerings and prayers, including a pair of inscribed ballet shoes, on the gates of a temple in Nagano, Japan.

Ramen in Kyoto, Japan.

I hope you liked the photos. In keeping with the Japan theme, I’ll also be publishing my gyoza recipe this week. Stand by!

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