After nearly two years away, I was finally able to return to Japan. Living in Japan for nearly three years changed me so much that I felt more homesick when I returned to America than during the first few months I spent in Japan. Even though it was cold, January was a good time to return to Japan because the touristy spots aren't so crowded.
This is Kenrokuen, an old style garden in Kanazawa city.
During the winter, there's a risk that falling snow can weigh down the branches of trees and break them. So the gardeners protect the trees with these cages.
This statue is the focal point of the garden.
Kenrokuen is beautiful in all four seasons.
Orizuru Tower is a new addition to Hiroshima since the summer of 2016. The name means "Folded Crane Tower." The paper crane is an important symbol for Hiroshima. The tower showcases some beautiful watercolor art centered on Hiroshima life and culture. But the most important feature is a view of the Peace Park from above.