Adventures in Japan: Kyoto with the Big Gun

Look!!! A personal blog post about our life in Japan. It’s been a while right!

I’ve been using Instagram instead of blogging. So you are welcome to follow our personal adventures and craziness there.  (http://instagram

And a confession…Our trip to Kyoto, Japan was the first time in over A YEAR that I actually took my big camera with my to capture personal moments. I know, I know. This is almost sinful for a professional photographer to rely so heavily on here Iphone. In my defense, my Canon 5d Mark II is heavy when coupled with my 24-70 2.8L lens. I normally spend most the time out and about in Japan carrying one, if not two children. So sadly, the big gun has stayed home. I hope to be a little better about taking it with us in 2014.

And I miss blogging personal posts. So I may be doing more of that too!

On to Kyoto. We drove to this lovely city in November. Most people take the fast train know as the Shinkansen.  But having our own vehicle so we can stop as often as our two and three year old may need is just easier for us. It was a lovely and easy drive from Yokota AB. And part of the adventure for us.

Once there we spent two days exploring all the amazing sites that Kyoto, Japan has to offer. The first day we explored on foot and by train. The second day we hired a driver. BEST DECISION EVER! Our driver, Masa, picked us up at our hotel and drove us to several different temples, shrines, and sites. He also guided us through the locations and gave us tons of facts that we would have otherwise missed without him.  If you want more information about these leave a comment and I will contact you.

Autumn in Japan is just breath taking!

Our first day in Kyoto Andy drove through a labyrinth of tiny Japanese roads to get us to the bamboo forest.  Seriously the roads were the size of sidewalks and filled with people. I was in hives as he safely piloted us to the one place in Kyoto I really wanted to visit. I would have turned the car around and given up but he was my hero and got us there.

Do you see this path below??? Taxis were actually driving up this path. Ridiculous.

People in Japan take their photography very seriously. And when coupled with the leaves, well watch out. Oh, and can you see the taxi in the middle of the sea of people. Oh Japan!

Sweet girl was exhausted from our first day of touring and no napping. The pacifier was a last ditch effort to keep her from losing her mind in public.

Our first stop on day two was to the Kinkaku-ji Temple.  

Then we headed to a Zen Garden. This was Andy’s favorite place.

Above you will see the zen garden. I dont really get it. 🙂

Below you will see my favorite place, the Fushimi Inari Shrine. 

Sadly, baby girl fell out of the van at our first stop of the day. She immediately got a goose egg on her head. Man I felt so horrible as I watched her fall.

This shrine has torii gates that go up the entire mountain. I seriously loved this place. The never ending torii gate path was magical.

Want to buy a torii gate in honor of a family member? It will only cost you $1750 for the smallest one. The largest will cost you $13,020.

Look what I stumbled upon?!?!?  Seriously I had to stop and creep a picture. The photographer didn’t seem to mind:)

We had a blast exploring Japan today. Love every moment I get to spend with my family. And even after being in Japan for almost a year and a half I still can’t believe I live here.

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January 21, 2014 - 5:11 am

Sarah (http://www NULL.sarahpaganophotography - I LOVE how you can actually see the gold on the walls of the golden temple. Glorious detail! Also, the dark picture of the thousand torii gates?! Genius.

You’re a genius.

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