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Here are some pictures from my travels throughout Japan.

Kobe- This is the major city I visit the most. It's only an hour bus ride away from where I live. This city was leveled by an earthquake six years ago but has been rebuilt and is a nice place to get away from inaka (countryside) life. There are three main parts of Kobe, Sannomiya (the busiest area), Motomachi(shopping area and Chinatown), and Harbor Land (the scenic area).

Kyoto This is the cultural center of Japan. It was the second capital of Japan (after Nara) and is the fourth largest city. It is packed with hundreds of shrines, temples, and other historical sites.

Nara This was the first capital of Japan. Needless to say there is a rich culture and many historical places to visit in this small city.

Hiroshima This was a sobering yet inspiring trip for me. I went to Hiroshima alone to see what the city and the people were like there and to see the memorials to the people who died from the dropping of the nuclear bomb.

Taiwan This was my first trip outside of Japan since I moved here. Taiwan is surprisingly different from Japan, especially since they are so close in proximity. I truly enjoyed the time I had there and I want to eventually go back to visit again.

Ise Shrine- This is the oldest Shinto shrine in Japan. It dates back to the 3rd century A.D. and is one of the most highly treasured places in all of Japan. There is an outer shrine and inner shrine, both of which are hidden in densely forested areas. The shrines are very austere and simple, and although they are built every 20 years, they still seem like they are as old as their true age.