Page 3 of Doug Gschwind Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 24th 2014

I was recommended to visit Fushimi Inari through a colleague. Though not being a religious man, I found the shrine and its thousands of Torii and Emaquite captivating and gave me many of moments of Zen while I was visiting. It sits very close to two train stations, so if you reach either of those two, you are very close. I chose to hike to the top to see all that I could see, and took a different route down than I took up. On the route down, I could tell that area of the mountain got a bit more precipitation as much was covered in moss. You will see many similar photos in this entry, of Ema, Torii, Foxes, and many, many Shrines within the greater shrine. I have posted them to give you an ... read more
Outermost Torii Gate

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ryogoku September 24th 2014

There is some interest around this topic, so I have decided to make a blog post just for it. Of my 14 nights in hotels, I opted to stay in Capsule/Pod hotels for eleven of those. I think most people would agree that that was too long an experiment, but looking back on it, it worked out fine. I stayed in two Capsule hotels, one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto. In each of those hotels, there were eight capsules to a room. My capsule room in Tokyo at the Hotel Nihonbashi Villa cost me just 18,100 Yen or roughly USD $165 for a seven night stay. My capsule room in Kyoto at the Capsule Ryokan Hotel cost me just 14,000 Yen or roughly USD $126 for a four night stay. The capsule room at the ... read more
Hotel Nihonbashi Villa
Hotel Nihonbashi Villa
Hotel Nihonbashi Villa

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka September 23rd 2014

I decided to visit Osaka on this day, was only a 30 minute or so train ride from Kyoto. This was a very cool place and the weather was perfect. The train station here is very close to the park, it could not be more convenient to access, at least via rail.... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka September 23rd 2014

I decided to check out the aquarium in Osaka since I learned that they had a Whale Shark in their biggest tank. While that was very cool to see one of them slowly swimming about, I was quite surprised to learn of the existence of Giant Spider Crabs. I have both a video and some still shots of them. Near the exit of the aquarium is a fairly good sized Petting Pond where you can reach down into the 8 to 12" deep pond and touch Rays, Zebra Sharks , and Leopard Sharks as they swim by. The Leopard sharks seemed the most anti social though as they had congregated in an area of the pond which cannot be reached by the hands of the aquarium guests. The Rays were pretty funny in that they often ... read more
Fake
Whale Shark

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 22nd 2014

After taking the Randen train from the Arashiyama area where I visited the Iwatayama monkey park, I was on my way to visit Kinkakuji , the Golden Paviion which is a Zen temple and its top two floors are covered in Gold leaf. Once you reach the East end of the Randen line and the Kitanohakubaicho Station, it is about a 10 minute walk North to Kinkakuji. It was a nice weather day, and some of my photos turned out quite well, it was well worth the visit and yet a few more moments of Zen. It was a nominal fee to tour Kinkakuji, ¥ 400.... read more
Waraten Shrine
Waraten Shrine
Waraten Shrine

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 22nd 2014

Ryoan-ji was another World Cultural Heritage Site that I was able to visit during my time in Japan, and was just a short walk from the Golden Pavilion. If you are going to visit either of them, you might as well visit both, and there are other points of interest very close to them both as well. The focal point of Ryoanji is its rock garden and the moments of Zen that it provides to its tenders and visitors, but the entire grounds are very calming and nurturing as well. I once worked with a woman that kept a very small (7" x 9" or so) rock garden by her desk, and people (including me) often took to rake the sand within it when stopping by to talk with her. I figured seeing one of the ... read more
One Entrance
Entering the paid area
World Cultural Hertitage Site marker

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 22nd 2014

I stepped out of my hotel at Capsule Ryokan and just spotted this across the street. I decided to see what could be seen, and besides enjoying exploring the grounds of the temple and its accommodations, was rewarded when I just happened upon the Karamon Gate within. I was probably only here about 30 minutes, but like most things in Japan, it was a brief moment of Zen.... read more
Off to school

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 22nd 2014

I seem to remember that some park in Japan had been somewhat overtaken by Macaque monkeys and thought thismight be the place, so had to go check it out. While it turns out that I was wrong about that, it was really quite an interesting experience and I was very glad I went to check it out. Once you get to the area, there is a bit of a hike to reach the 160m above sea level area where the feeding house is stationed. The hike would likely be too much for your average senior citizen, but most everyone else can easily make the climb. Once you get to where the feeding house is located, you can go inside within which you can purchase drinks for yourself, or fruit or nuts that you can feed to ... read more
Hike up begins here

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 21st 2014

The main train station in Kyoto is really quite a cool place. From its many floors to where you can shop and eat in the basement up to the top floor where you can walk and get a little height queazy, its worth spending a little time here to explore. There are a few stories worth of stairs in the interior where at night lights shine from the stair risers and form cool patterns which I am sure are programmed. This entry dedicated to those photos I took while inside.... read more
Mister Donut

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ginza September 21st 2014

Please see the entry from the day before on 20 Sep 2014 that describes this in a bit more detail. This entry is just for the few photos I took while as part of one of the two live tuna auction observer groups. Much of these photos are showing the bidders inspecting the two different lots of Tuna that were being auctioned that morning.... read more
Inspecting Lot #2
Inspecting Lot #1
Inspecting Lot #1




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