After seeing the emperor we walked through Tokyo station (which is like a city underground) to the Shinkansen (the bullet train).
Our JR passes really paid off. Not only is it a great deal (because it includes all JR local lines and almost every bullet train) but all you do is show your pass at the ticket booth. You can reserve a seat (no extra charge) or sit in unreserved seats. It seems complicated but it is simple.
I have a theory they make it easy for tourists (because the JR pass is not available from within Japan) just so that confused tourists don't dam up ticket booths and make Japanese people late.
Mount Fuji (known as Fujisan in Japanese) can be seen from the train to Osaka from Tokyo. It was covered with clouds but still a pretty sight.
We didn't make it to Osaka until late, but I think this is the perfect time to see the city.
I like their birdcage lights which I did not see in any other city.
It was a long day so a few large beers were in order.
Since New Years is a family holiday in Japan Tokyo was very quiet (people go home to be with family) but as our trip continued we started to see the typical Japanese crowds. Osaka was the busiest we had seen Japan since our trip began.
The next morning while Fred got some work done and Vinny and Nancy went to breakfast, I went to one of the most important temples in Osaka, Shitteno-ji.
I was happy to be alone because there were no other tourists; I felt like I could blend in to the background a little better.
I peaked in this building when the man outside who was praying by raising his hands to the sky stopped what he was doing to tell me that I had to go in and take a picture.
Shitteno-ji is gorgeous, and much larger than I imagined. It was the perfect temple to visit in the morning before leaving for Koyasan. I didn't want to leave the city without seeing something historic, even though we were just passing through on our way to Koyasan. Going from Koya directly from Tokyo is quite a day of travel. I am happy to have checked out the third largest city in Japan.