Cleveland's unseasonably warm December has me thinking back to spring. Spring was a particularly good season for Dan and I this year. For one thing, we tied the knot on April 14th - all sorts of amazing. We also ventured to Japan on our honeymoon. For several years I lived in a small town in Gifu Prefecture named Nakatsugawa. Many people outside of Gifu-ken aren't even sure where it is, but it is the one place in this world that will forever hold my heart, not only because of the rice paddies that flanked many a tiny street, or the mountain streams that poured down from the hills above, but because of the kind folks whom I still believe I was destined to meet. That, my friends, is another story. Suffice it to say that my time in Japan was utterly transformative, and I was thrilled at the thought that Dan would be able to meet the people and experience the culture that helped shape the girl he loves.
We wanted to make sure we had a full experience of both city and country side, so we started our journey in Tokyo, travelled by Shinkhansen (bullet train) to Nagano, rode a series of local trains to Yudanaka (home of the world famous onsen monkeys), and then straight on to Nakatsugawa were we spent a few days with loved ones. We moved on to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, and finally back to Tokyo, where we happened upon a huge tech-fest in Akihabara that opened the massive thoroughfare up to foot traffic. I could go on an on, but perhaps I should let the photographs do the talking.