Our first visit to Japan came in the winter – January of 2018 – and it was an amazing experience. We started in Tokyo with a lovely tour of Rikugien Garden, during which our guide prepared green tea for us and served traditional Japanese sweets. We toured the massive Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s largest. (It would close in October and move to the new site of Toyosu). After a few days, it began to snow, and in fact Tokyo received its largest snowfall in four years. It was so beautiful and added a special dimension to our photos. From Tokyo, we went to Kyoto, where we took a tour of the Nishiki Market, visited Gion District, many shrines and temples, Nijo Castle and the Bamboo Forest.
Our second visit was in the summer of 2019. It was equally amazing but also hot, humid and very crowded. Still, we had a great time eating and exploring Tokyo and Kyoto. This time we also visited Osaka, another foodie paradise. We rounded out the trip with a stay at a Ryokan in Hakone, at the base of Mt Fuji.