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Category: Japan 2011

  • Flying home: As late as a Thai train

    Australians… You know that you are back in Australia when there’s a women in the train scraping her toenails clean over the seat. B asks “Can we eat in this train?” I remind her that this is CityRail. How sensibilities change when you’ve been overseas for a while. There was a older Australian man and… Read more

  • No kicks in KIX

    Sitting here in Kansai International Airport when we should have departed almost two hours ago. Our Jetstar flight is delayed by four hours and nothing is open here. At least we were each given 1000 Yen vouchers for food, enough for two decent sized dinners and drinks. And there’s free wireless close to the gate.… Read more

  • Blossoms, canals and shabu-shabu in Kyoto

    There is so much to see in Kyoto. Unfortunately, the sights are spread out across the city, the rail network inconveniently structured and the bus system so slow that you might as well walk. When we made the decision to visit Kyoto the question was how we could fit in all that we wanted to… Read more

  • Anpanman Torokko

    I promised Alex a ride in the Anpanman train. Anpanman is a Japanese children’s cartoon character and, just as wood was the big thing for Kyushu trains, he’s the focus of Shikoku Island trains. I’ve never seen more than a short YouTube grab of Anpanman, but we did ride in an Anpanman train all the… Read more

  • Sakura

    Sakura is Japanese for cherry tree and is also the name of the Shinkansen that brought us to Osaka. A tram brought us to Suizenji Koen, a strolling garden in Kumamoto. It is landscape to represent the 53 stations of the Tokaido Road, including a reduced size (but easily recognisable) Mount Fuji. It’s quite a… Read more

  • Hell and flowers

    Here’s the thing about Japan. This country is so densely packed with sights and scenery that it usually doesn’t matter if your plans change: there’s so much to see! Instead of going northwards on to the main island, as had been my original intent we went in the other direction, to the southwest and further… Read more

  • People powered in Yufuin

    We woke up to a lovely breakfast served by the ryokan. A combination of western and Japanese dishes everything from the salmon in a mint oil sauce to the tofu tasted good. One of the old woman cooks came out and made various origami objects for Alex: bird, paper aeroplane, bat, hat and ball. Then… Read more

  • Yufuin no moreish

    When I woke up the next morning it was almost 9.30am. Check-out is a strict 10am and we had reservations for a train at 10.18am. Just as I was about to exit the door and try to book us in for another night, Alex woke up. We didn’t quite make it out by 10am. And… Read more

  • Going nuclear at Nagasaki

    Fukuoka’s airport had a smoky tinge to it, like that of Chiang Mai, which I found surprising. The airport was surprisingly busy, with lots of big Japanese domestic aircraft and international arrivals from China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore. Fukuoka’s domestic and international terminals are inconveniently separated from each other and require a bus to… Read more

  • Bye-Bye Tuk-Tuk

    Apologies for the lack of updates. We’ve been alternately without internet access and too exhausted to types since checking out of our hotel in Bangkok… On our last day in Bangkok we went shopping. We were going to start with a swim, but the water in the impressively decorated pool was only 18 degrees C.… Read more