The kitsune (fox) statues at Inari Shrines remain some of my favourite things in Japan. This one is at the Jorinji Shrine in Matsumoto. Worshippers often place hats and/or bibs on the statues as a sign of respect.

Quiet times.

Matsumoto is proving to be the perfect place to slow things down, relax and unwind a little after the bright lights and near constant bustle of Osaka.

Sweetness and Light in Umeda.

Yesterday was a day of shopping. The overwhelming range in Yodobashi Camera – if only I could fit it all in my suitcase. The lovely, girly fashions in the shop windows of Umeda. And finally, the bright, bright lights of Japan by night.

Resting. Koyasan, Japan.

Yesterday we did the Choishi Michi (pilgrims’ walk) to Koyasan, Japan. The walk itself was beautiful – 18km up and across mountain ridges, passing through fruit orchards, bamboo and pine forests. And the town of Koyasan itself was just as amazing as I had hoped. It’s a buddhist monastery town filled with traditional buildings and a huge cemetery with graves dating back hundreds of years. There was an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility.