I mentioned this a few times before, but my recent trip to Japan’s Kansai region marked my second time in that region. The first time, I was flying solo, so I definitely wanted Sidney to see some of my favorite spots and show her why I fell in love with Japan. This included revisiting Kyoto and Nara. For myself though, this post about ‘keeping the same country fresh’ inspired me to try something different and look a bit deeper to see if I missed something amazing.
My research stage before a trip involves a lot of trailing off, which lets my mind wander. Are there good onsens nearby? No dice. Maybe cool monkeys? Too far north. Then I remembered a story I read about the completion of a Shinto shrine in Japan last year. Is that nearby? Turns out, it was only an hour away from Nara, or two hours if Japanese transportation still completely baffles you.