Takamatsu

While visiting Takamatsu, Kongo toured the famous Ritsurin Gardens. The garden literally means “chestnut grove garden” and there are plenty of chestnut trees here. It was started by a feudal lord in the early 1600s and it wasn’t finished for 100 years.  The garden is a major attraction of the city of Takamatsu and one of the most historic gardens in all of Japan. It’s a favorite outing for children and these primary school students warmly greeted the monkey with waves and chants of “hello! hello!” There are more than 1,200 pine trees in this garden and they are all…

A Day in Kyoto

There are 1,600 temples in Kyoto and the monkey was doing his best to see some of them. After mooring in the port city of Kobe, Kongo climbed aboard the bullet train (Shinkansen), the  for a quick ride to Kyoto. Bullet trains travel at speeds up to 200 mph and they are smooth, quiet, really cool. There are even airline-like stewardesses to keep you nourished while you zip along. The stations at Kobe and Kyoto are filled with teeming throngs of travelers, groups of school children headed out on field trips, and businessmen and women heading to important meetings further down…

Wow Kanazawa

Geishas, soft-serve ice cream covered in gold foil, beautiful parks, temples, and more. Kanazawa seems to have it all and then some. From the warm welcome on the pier to a farewell performance of local dancers waving goodbye to the ship the city of Kanazawa welcomes its visitors with sunshine and flair. Kanazawa is a castle town dating from the 16th century. The feudal lords who ruled here invested in culture through its many parks and temples. It has always been known as a rich town and that is probably what sparked the indulgence of eating ice cream covered in…