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Category: Japan 2012

  • Outlets and outta Japan

    The horizon is glowing with the first signs of the new day and we are heading home. I welcome the light and perhaps even the destination, but I am sad that the trip is ending. On our final day in Japan we sleep in and do not have our bags packed until check out time… Read more

  • Overloaded to Osaka

    Just for once I’d like an overseas trip where I’ve got nothing but a small pack on my back. Right now I feel like a pack horse. There’s a huge and heavy suitcase pack on my back, a full daypack on my front, one hand is dragging a big roller bag and the other is… Read more

  • A shopping day in Shinjuku

    As midnight falls the last few trains servicing Shinjuku rattle outside our window, far below us. I am sad, always sad when the time comes to leave this place. It is so alien, so unlike Sydney. A simple room, small, whites, greys and dark wood contrasts with the neon extravaganza outside, the riot of crazy… Read more

  • High rolling at FujiQ

    Last night I was watching a Japanese documentary about a future volcanic eruption of Mount Fuji. Now we are going to the scene of the action, in more ways than one. As B ascends what was once the world’s tallest roller coaster, Fujiyama (literally Fuji Mountain) Alex and I gaze upwards. It’s nice having a… Read more

  • From Sapporo to Shinjuku

    Nine and a half hours of travel and we have returned to what feels like our second home, the Prince Hotel in Shinjuku. The weather was wet all the way down, the first time we have actually needed the umbrella. We left Sapporo at 7am on the Super Hokuto. Unfortunately, we were seated on the… Read more

  • On the ropes at Sounkyo

    There is snow around, the peak of the mountain is up ahead and I’m wearing a t-shirt. Even I feel a little cold right now but I know that a hot bath lies ahead. Or below us, as was the case right now. We were up Mt Daisetsuzan, overlooking the beautiful Sounkyo Gorge in Central… Read more

  • Ice cream in Otaru

    Squid ink, sea urchin, sake, beer, wine, pumpkin, sweet potato, horseradish. Not your average dessert menu. But they were some of flavours on offer at Kita no Ice Cream Yasan in Otaru, along with the more normal lemonade, chocolate and white peach. B ordered the black squid ink and sea urchin flavours, while Alex and… Read more

  • Wriggling up to Hokkaido

    Hokkaido is the only of the four major Japanese islands that we have not yet visited and today we were destined for Sapporo, the largest city on the island. Hokkaido is not yet connected to the Shinkansen network, so it’s a fair ride by train to get up there. We raced up to Shin-Aomori, the… Read more

  • Hirosaki is tops

    There is much to see in the Tohoku region of Japan. I had multiple itineraries planned for today, all of which involved a lot of train travel, the differences being which lines we caught. But after the previous night I wasn’t feeling so enthusiastic about a whole day on the rails. I was looking over… Read more

  • Heading north to kappa country

    It has webbed feet and scaly skin. On its back is a tortoiseshell and lives in the water. It ravishes women and eats children. The only thing it likes better is cucumbers. Should you encounter one, bow low and the pool of water on its head will spill, rendering it temporarily powerless. This is the… Read more