Photo-shoot prep at Osaka Castle

I spotted this couple being moved around the scenic spots at Osaka Castle by a camera crew that included some pro video gear; they were likely shooting for a TV show (thanks, Jonathon) newlyweds.

photo shoot at Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan

Luminous Kobe

To be honest, the Luminous Kobe dinner cruise is a great experience, but not much of a photo-op. If you spend some time in Kobe, though, there’s plenty to see; next trip.

View from the top, Luminous Kobe cruise, Kobe, Japan

Osaka Castle blossoms

We only had time for a brief visit to Osaka Castle. That still took nearly two hours, since the place was filled with cherry blossoms and their fans.

Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan

Occupy Nara!

They just want their fair share of the crackers.

Sacred deer, Nara Park, Japan

Obligatory Golden Pavilion Photo

It’s one of the laws of tourism.

Kinkakuji, Kyoto, Japan

Other blossoms

The Kyoto Botanical Garden had all sorts of blooms. Here’s one of the non-cherry blossoms:

Kyoto Botanical Garden, Kyoto, Japan

Just don’t ask me what this thing is…


One more cherry blossom

Shoseien, Kyoto, Japan

Culture for its own sake

Just in case you plan to set up a backyard saké brewery, here’s how you go about it, courtesy of the folks at Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum.

Step-by-step sake-making at Gekkeikan Museum, Fushimi, Japan

Readable full-size version here. The museum is a fun little side trip, by the way, with a gift shop and tasting bar. The “retro” saké they only sell there is sweeter than most current products; several bottles made it into our luggage, along with their plum wine.

Next trip, we’ll have to visit the Suntory Yamazaki beer and whisky museums, as Jeffrey Friedl did here and here.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”