日本 day7 | Mt. Shosha (書写) hiking almost made me into a mountainman

January 2 I was told that Himeji (姫路市) would be incomplete without a hike to the temple complex of Shoshazan Engyō-ji (書寫山圓教寺) atop Mt. Shosha (書写).  A bus ride and a ropeway got me up to the top of the mountain where a good chunk of The Last Samurai was shot.  Being there on the Read More …

日本 day6.5 | Himeji (姫路市)

January 1 On the first day of 2010, I packed up my things after a charming breakfast with Aaron & the Sumidas and wandered out to explore Japan on my own.  They needed to be with the family for Japanese New Year / shōgatsu (正月), and I wanted to be on my own to dive Read More …

日本 day2 | bike-a-thon: temple of the Golden Pavilion & the mountainside of 10,000 gates

December 28 Borrowing some bikes, the four of us (Aaron, Chad, Malia & myself) biked Kyoto from top to bottom.  On our agenda began with an unsuccessful stop at Nijō Castle (二条城) due to New Year’s preparations.  We proceeded to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺)/ “the temple of the Golden Pavilion” in northern Kyoto (京都) where there was Read More …

signpost: Japan posts coming soon

My (United, -cough, cough-) flight back to Chicago was delayed by over four hours last night.  Instead of landing around 8p.m., we touched down sometime after midnight.  I actually stopped paying attention to time since it was so relative when traveling over the International Date Line (and, no, that is not an 800 number). Editing Read More …

CA09: Laguna Beach reloaded (+ supermodels interrupted)

Yesterday, my parents took off for Catalina Island while the chilinz, my cousins and aunt took off for Laguna Beach part two.  My cousin and his girlfriend were dead-on when they suggested going to Victoria Beach in Laguna. The morning there was shared with an uncrowded beachfront, a supermodel photoshoot and a group of junior Read More …