The CSSWG met in Kyoto in June 2011. I took Erin along for the trip.
It was our first time visiting Japan. We flew into Kansai a few days before the meeting and had a ton of fun exploring Kyoto and its environs.
Of particular note is Fushimi Inari-taisha, the head shrine of the kami Inari. It's set on a forested mountain just south of the city. The mountain is covered with hiking trails and paths which are lined with vermillion torii gates. You've probably seen photos from it. Visiting it is one of the truly unforgettable moments of my life.
I brought a bottle of my favorite craft beer, Alpine Nelson Rye IPA, and gave it to the proprietor at Kyoto's craft beer bar, Tadg's.
One of the surprising higlights from the trip was when we stumbled onto Fenway Park, a Red Sox-themed whiskey bar, and got to know its owners.