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We’re staying in a ryokan (traditional inn) in Ohara outside Kyoto. It’s got an onsen (natural hot spring) which I love.

The view from our room in the ryokan. It’s a woodland with a little pond Myself, Lucy and her parents sitting round a low table having dinner which is the hot pot in the middle Lucy and me grinning in our grey and white yukata Lucy in the sunshine in the ryokan looking radiant as usual

A brief stop-over in Kyoto yesterday on the way to our ryōkan! We saw Higashi Honganji temple and had the best ramen of my life

The front of the temple The temple courtyard The inside of the temple showing the wooden ceiling and hanging lights The aforementioned best ever ramen, from Honke Daiichi-Asahi

Yesterday we went to Nara and saw the bowing deer. They were very polite. It’s a gorgeous place. One of my favourite days so far.

A pagoda in the sunshine Lucy feeding a friendly deer Me and my new friend (also a deer) Kasugataisha shrine

Last night we went to Round One, a massive arcade (eight floors?) in Osaka. I was bad at the games I understood and worse at the rest. I regret to inform I did not, in fact, win the cuddly Piplup.

Loads of UFO machines Lucy and her mum trying to win things on the claw machine Lucy playing Taiko no Tatsujin Me and Lucy playing MaiMai I think it’s called

A few rare shots of Osaka that aren’t of food. This city has really grown on me.

We went to the castle today and that was lovely.

Lucy in Dotenbori. You can see the canal and the big signs Me and Lucy at the top of the tower with a view of the city behind us Lucy and her parents, with the castle moat behind and the castle in the distance Osaka Castle, close up

And now for my favourite part of the trip so far - retro game store Super Potato in Osaka

Loads of Famicom games A view of one of the aisles in the store Lucy looking at Game & Watch Game Boy carts! I bought, err, five

Yesterday we went to Ōkunoshima, an island off the Hiroshima coast famous for hundreds of very friendly wild rabbits. Definitely Lucy’s highlight of the trip so far. A stunning place.

We made it to Osaka last night - very excited to explore!

Lucy with lots of rabbits, looking delighted. Some rabbits munching on the food we gave them. A friendly rabbit being polite It’s a really beautiful place

Arrived in Tadanoumi, did some exploring, ate okonomiyaki in a tiny restaurant and had a lovely chat with some locals. Definitely the hardest my Japanese has been worked since we got here, but we got there.

Today: rabbit island.

A photo of the shrine in Tadanoumi, from a little distance At the harbour. Lucy is in a bright yellow coat. Okonomiyaki being made on the hot plate. The chef/owner was really lovely Lucy, her parents, and one of the locals we met, in the restaurant

Left Nagoya today and heading towards Hiroshima - my first time on the Shinkansen!

A green light at a crosswalk in Nagoya, with sakura in the background The window of the Shinkansen, with an urban view

Managed to get miso katsu on our last night in Nagoya and it did not disappoint

Lucy fighting with the pig man. This is the mascot for the miso katsu chain we went to, Yabaton Miso katsu