Although most of the Japan trip was spent in Tokyo, we made time to see other parts of the country too. I put these photos in their own gallery as I really felt that "inside Tokyo" and "outside Tokyo" were two separate places.
A quick half day trip to Hakone was made for no other reason than to visit Tenzan, a traditional open air bath (human shabu-shabu, if you will...). I decided that we need these in the US! The last four, full days of the vacation were spent in Kyoto with a one day side trip to Nara. Kyoto was different from the big city in many ways. While it was nice to get a change of scenery and see things other than large buildings, we quickly tired of temple after temple. They all start looking the same! We were happy to finally find the famous Ryoanji rock garden though. There were fewer English speakers in Kyoto, and the transportation wasn't quite as easy, but we took a bullet train to get there and I love riding bullet trains! (We could use some of these in the US too.) Nara, a quick train ride from Kyoto, is the land of the deer. I didn't believe that deer just roam the streets until I actually saw it. Jon even found a friend that wanted to be in his facebook photo.