In the Spring of 2003, we were blessed with good fortune --- and the good will of good friends --- and traveled east to the Land of the Rising Sun. Our trip was more than a simple vacation: it was a pilgrimage.

When the opportunity to travel to Japan was presented, we were both thrilled for the chance to take the "trip of a lifetime," but terrified that we could not make the voyage (for a number of mundane reasons) and afraid of imaginary expectations and cultural barriers.

While our trip left us with many profound experiences, we also had fun. We visited tourist traps and places where only the locals go. We experienced the rush hour crush on a Tokyo commuter train, had the privelege to attend a traditional Shinto wedding ceremony, ate delicious food, visited age-old temples, attended Kabuki and Noh plays, survived a pub crawl and, of course, enjoyed tea with friends.

We're still in the process --- after more than a year --- of digesting and organizing our photos, and will have a photo essay of our trip through Japan to share with you here on our website.

In these pages we'll chronicle our journey and impressions, organized by region,then by date. Our trip took us first to Tokyo, where we spent the first 10 days of our stay with our dear friends, the Hirose family. We then made a short side-trip to Kyoto en route to Shizuoka where we attended the wedding of another dear friend, Jeff Nelson, and his beautiful bride Shigeko Amano. After three days in Shizuoka, we returned to Tokyo and then home to California.

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Our Pilgrimage To Japan

TOKYO

KYOTO

SHIZUOKA

Disclaimer and Excuses: Although I've made every effort to accurately represent Japanese language, culture and history I'm sure there are bound to be errors. If you find any errors, please email me with the page title so that I can make the correction. Thank you!---H. Harvey