There are huge structures that have been moved from one location to another as family systems evolved and capitols changed. Castles have been destroyed by fire multiple times over the centuries and have been rebuilt again and again. The spectrum of shrines - Shinto, early Buddhist, Chinese-influenced, and fusions of all of these - is amazing and we walked to and through as many as we could. We collected calligraphy and red stamps from the larger shrines in fan-fold books that tell the story of our journeys.
Each area we went to identified its traditional arts and showcased them - the beautiful white embroidery on deep indigo blue cloth, lacquer ware and gold leaf work, textile dyeing and printing. Traditional foods varied from place to place as well, from Kobe beef to a special form of bean curd. We enjoyed Izakaya - Japanese bar food. which consists of a wide variety of small dishes.
Being able to get wherever we wanted by bullet train, intercity train, and subway was wonderful. And trying to live out of small rolling carry-on for three weeks, was educational.
We had a great time - Japan is beautiful and friendly - and I hope to go back someday.