We lucked out. The last time we went to Japan was three years ago. It was September, and blisteringly hot. I'm talking temperatures in the mid to high nineties (35-38C) every day. Since we walk everywhere wherever we go, planning for a day's jaunt also included stops for buying water everywhere we went. We still had a lot of fun, but we also had cause to be deeply grateful for a culture that has vending machines on every corner.
This time, the weather was perfect. There's no other way to describe it. We only had one day of drizzle, and even that ended by noon. We spend a day and a half in Tokyo, took the bullet train to Kyoto for four days, then returned to Tokyo for two more before we caught our flight home from Narita Airport. Everything went without a single hitch. It was amazing. I kept expecting something to screw up, but no. The planes left and arrived on time. No luggage issues because we never check luggage. There were no snarl-ups at airport check-in or security. Even the lines were short. It was eerie in the nicest way possible.
The main reason (aside from The Boy's work schedule) we went at this time of year had to do with the leaves. In my opinion, there is nowhere on earth with more beautiful gardens than Kyoto. I know a lot of folks will disagree with me. It's all right. What I mean by this is that gardeners in Japan, and Kyoto in particular, always design with an eye to the look of the garden throughout the year. Even in winter, they're beautiful.
I'll shut up now, and let the photographs do the talking for me.
(All photographs copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)