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Asia

Tokyo Disneyland, Japan October 20, 2014

There are two Disney parks in Tokyo – Disneyland and DisneySea. Disneyland is very similar to Magic Kingdom in Orlando with Pirates of the Caribbean, Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain, and It’s a Small World. DisneySea is more like Hollywood Studios with Tower of Terror, Toy Story, and Indiana Jones. Alcohol is served at DisneySea, so … Continue reading »

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Tokyo, Japan October 19, 2014

We took the train into Tokyo this afternoon, where we’ll end our trip. I’m so sad that it’s almost time to go home! Our hotel, Mitsui Garden Shiodome, is close to the Tokyo Tower so walked there tonight. We ate crepes from a street vendor and there were so many flavors to choose from! We … Continue reading »

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Shirakawa-go, Japan October 18, 2014

We drove to Shirakawa-go today to visit the Gassho Houses. These houses are part of a traditional village and the village is a UNESCO Heritage site. Shirakawa is one of the snowiest places in Japan and also in the world. Average snowfall is over 400 inches per year, so the Japanese built their homes with steep … Continue reading »

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Takayama, Japan October 17, 2014

We walked around the town of Takayama today, which is a beautiful town in the heart of the Japanese Alps. Old Town has craft shops that date back to the 16th century and the morning markets had fall vegetables, flowers, and fruit.

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Takayama, Japan October 16, 2014

We drove from Matsumoto to Takayama, through the Japanese Alps. I highly recommend taking Highway 158, avoiding the tunnel that cuts time off the drive. The road is full of switchbacks, waterfalls, and dams. Fruits, vegetables, and rice are being harvested and there are stands with apples and grapes everywhere. They even sell apple and grape … Continue reading »

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Matsumoto, Japan October 15, 2014

We picked up our rental car in Nagano and drove to Matsumoto today. Driving on the left side of the road is always a challenge, particularly when you have a manual transmission. Americans must have an International Drivers Permit to drive in Japan, which must be issued prior to departure. An IDP is simply your … Continue reading »

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Shibu Onsen, Japan October 14, 2014

There is a typhoon moving north through Japan this week and it’s the only thing on tv. It’s kind of like our blizzard warnings, when the National Weather Service interrupts every channel to tell you how horrible it’s going to be. Apparently typhoons are just like blizzards in that forecasters are kind of guessing. School … Continue reading »

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Shibu Onsen, Japan October 13, 2014

I love, love, love Japan Rail! We got the Japan East Rail Pass, which allows unlimited travel on most trains, buses, and some ferries within a large region of the country. The train is so fast, clean, and always on time. We’re in Shibu Onsen, a small resort town that’s famous for its onsens (natural … Continue reading »

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Motegi, Japan October 10, 2014

I’m back in Motegi, Japan for MotoGP motorcycle races! We were here in 2008 and absolutely loved the races, the country, and the people so we’re back. If you’re not familiar with MotoGP, these riders race around a track at speeds of more than 200 mph with their knees and elbows on the ground. Unfortunately … Continue reading »

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Shanghai, China October 8, 2014

We’re headed to Japan tomorrow. Our time in China has been short, but you can travel here without a visa if you stay for 72 hours or less. I was worried about traveling to China because I had read that other people thought the Chinese were abrupt and rude. I haven’t found that to be true … Continue reading »

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