"Exploring the World, Little By Little" Rabbityama's Profile

Although I have been to many places in Japan, there are always more places that I want to see here! I love cultural and historic sites. I also try to go to festivals and such. I still haven't seen any of the traditional theater (noh, kabuki, bunraku, etc.), seen a sumo match, or seen maiko/geisha dance, although I have seen them many times and was served tea by them at the Baikasai in Kyoto.

Right now I also enjoy my job, so I have not been traveling far out, but small trips still seem to find me! ;)

Winter Festivals and Blossoms

Winter in Kansai is sort of dreary, because everything is dead and snow is rare and doesn't stick so the scenery can become a bit ugly. That makes it difficult sometimes to plan trips, because many places have nice gardens that I want to see in the summer when they are green and beautiful.

One remedy was my daytrip to Kanazawa to see snow at the famous Kenrokuen Garden, which was great!

But this winter I have been fortunate enough to get to go to some great festivals. The best was the Naked Man Festival (Hadaka Matsuri) in Okayama, where over 9,000 men wearing only fundoshi gather at Saidaiji Temple in hopes of getting a lucky stick thrown by the priests. Getting to see such an interesting and amazing event was a highlight not just of this winter but of all my Japan experiences!

I also got to see two Nara Festivals: the Wakakusa Yamayaki where they burn the mountainside and the Omizutori where they burn torches at Nigatsu-do. These were both nice night festivals!

Lately the plum blossoms have begun to bloom, so I went to the Baikasai event at Kitano Tenmangu where maiko serve tea among the blossoms (although it was a bit early for most of the flowers then). I also went to Umenomiya Shrine which has a nice garden full of plum trees and Jonangu Shrine, which was the most impressive by far! It's plum blossoms and gorgeous gardens are well worth the visit; better than most cherry blossom spots! That was a real treat!

I may go to see some more plum blossoms and then cherry blossom season will start. Still thinking about where I want to go to see them! The season is so short.

Shikoku Trip

At the end of October I went to the island of Shikoku and visited a variety of sites in Kochi-ken, Tokushima-ken, and Kagawa-ken! Shikoku has many amazing historic and natural sites but very few foreign tourists actually decide to visit. If you do, you will find it's well worth the trip! The island has four authentic castles, an 88 temple pilgrimage route, one of the largest gardens in Japan, famous onsen, excellent natural sites, and much more!

I was able to visit 2 of the original castles, the famous Konpirasan Shrine, one of the 88 temples, the scenic Iya Valley, andthe Naruto Whirlpools! On a previous trip I saw another one of the 88 temples and Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu.

I have been trying my best to create pages and tips for the places I visited. Here is my list with links to places with pages (in the order that I went there):
- Kochi City
- Iya Valley (Oboke)
- Marugame
- Zentsuji
- Kotohira
- Naruto

Other recent trips have been to:
- Koka, the famous ninja city in Shiga Prefecture
- Amanohashidate, considered to be one of the Top 3 Views in Japan in Kyoto Prefecture
- Kainan, a port city in Wakayama Prefecture
- Kyotanabe, a small town in Kyoto Prefecture famous for Ikkyuji Temple
- I have also returned to Kobe, Nara, and Osaka and still visit Kyoto often

Places I Have Traveled To

Currently, I have been to the United States, Canada, Japan, and in 2008, I went to China! As I am now back in Japan, it continues to be a work in progress! Of course, if there is a location that you'd like to ask me about, feel free to message me.

Also, I'm still out and about, so it can be difficult to find time for posting. On the other hand, the more I am out, the more I have to post when I come here! haha!

Places I Hope to Travel To:
I am most interested in traveling to Asia. I would also like to travel to Africa someday. Europe, the Middle East, and South America are of slight interest to me, so perhaps someday I will go to countries in these areas, as well. Some of the nations I currently would like to travel to are:

* China (New places, like Xi'an, Turpan, Leshan, etc.)
* Japan (New places like Osorezan in Aomori, Matsumoto, Misasa, Bizen, Naruko, etc.)
* South Korea
* Indonesia
* India
* Thailand
* Vietnam
* Iran

* Ethiopia
* Senegal
* Ghana
* South Africa
* Tanzania
* Kenya
* Nigeria
* Egypt
* Tunisia
* Morocco

* Vatican City
* Russia

These are the nations that I currently would MOST like to travel to from each continent. Of course, I love to travel, so this list is by no means exclusive!

Airlines and Airports

I have only flown on the following airlines:
-United Airlines
-Air Canada
-Air China
-China Southern Airlines
-US Airways
-American Airlines

I have been to the following airports:
-Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
-Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH)
-Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
-Kansai International Airport (KIX)
-Narita International Airport (NRT)
-Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
-Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
-San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
-Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
-Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
-Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
-Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
-La Guardia Airport (LGA)

Languages

Languages I currently speak fluently:
English (so sad!)

Languages I am studying:
Japanese

Languages I would like to know:
English (yes, I'd like to retain my native tongue!)
Japanese
Chinese Mandarin
Kiswahili (Swahili)
Bahasa Indonesia

The Most Beautiful Language (to me):
Russian

What do you think is the most beautiful language?

Quizzes

I enjoy testing my travel and geography knowledge, so perhaps other VTers will, too. Here are some fun quizzes related to various topics:

* Nations by Famous Sites Three famous things places are listed, name the country
* Nations by Famous Sites 2 Nations not in the first one may be here.
* Castles by Country A castle is given, type the country where is located

JAPAN
Since I love Japan, I enjoy taking quizzes specific to it!

* Japanese Prefectures by Famous Sites Three famous things are given, so name the prefecture they are from
* Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Sites Name the sites in Japan listed as world heritage sites
* Japanese Castles by Picture Identify the castles from their pictures
* Famous Sites of Kyoto by Pictures - Try to identify Kyoto's famous sites by looking at the pictures and type the answer under its corresponding number
* Old Provinces of Japan Name the provinces that once divided the nation

VT Feature!

I was quite surprised to receive a message on Nov. 1, 2011 that my tip about the Naruto Whirlpools was chosen as the very first "Tip of the Day"!

I feel very honored to have one of my tips deemed good enough to feature and I really like the idea of having a daily tip to get people looking at different user pages, destinations, and types of places! Thanks VT!

  • Intro Updated Aug 24, 2012
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Rabbityama

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Kyoto, Japan
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Sep 19, 2005

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