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Category: Japan 2015

  • Asagaya and heading home

    How can I be happy? I am about to return to a country where the toilets have at most two buttons and no seat warmers. But the tickets are booked and there are no cyclones, typhoons or other disasters standing in our way. It’s almost time to go back to my first home. First B… Read more

  • Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum

    My favourite Japanese movie would undoubtedly be Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away from Studio Ghibli. One of his inspirations for the beautiful design of the film was the Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum. The museum features a collection of transplanted traditional Japanese and Western influenced buildings from Meiji era Tokyo and is located in Koganei Park, the second… Read more

  • Takayama to Shinjuku

    I have finally “done” the Takayama Main Line. Back in 2006 our passage from Takayama to Toyama was interrupted by a section of track closed due to typhoon damage. I still loved the journey enough to want to recreate it and purchased my first n-scale Japanese model train, a KiHa 120 diesel set in Takayama… Read more

  • Takayama washout

    Nine years ago to the day we arrived in Takayama without a place to stay, not realising that it coincided with the Takayama Matsuri, one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals. Fortunately the staff at the tourist office found us a room and we had the pleasure of watching the enormous wooden floats being hauled… Read more

  • Back on the Tak

    B wanted a Japanese haircut. So last night Machiko and Mayumi found a hair salon in Tennoji with a discount voucher and arranged the whole thing for this morning. We packed our bags and checked out of our room, then headed off for Mio Plaza for the haircut. While B was busy having her hair… Read more

  • Wakayama with friends

    Last year we hosted a Japanese high school student, Miyu, for two weeks and one of her teachers, Machiko, for the second week. They were both the most delightful of guests and we really enjoyed both getting to know them and sharing a bit of Australia. A return visit provided the excuse for this trip… Read more

  • Shurikens and spas

    Stealth, speed and skill are all words associated with the legendary Japanese ninja. So are turtles, fruit slicing and marketingspeak, but let’s forget about those for the moment. We were at the Ninja Museum of Igaryu watching demonstrations of the ninja skills of sword fighting, shuriken throwing, bamboo slashing, the use of a rope to… Read more

  • Fire and rain at Universal Studios Japan

    Every trip we do as a family these days seems to involve at least one amusement park. That’s what happens when you have kids I guess. One this trip Universal Studios in Osaka was our designated theme park. When we looked out the window this morning we had second thoughts. Wet and cold again. On… Read more

  • Of misplaced jeans and model trains

    Who would have guessed that a misplaced shopping bag containing two pairs of jeans would cause so much trouble? We accidentally left the bag at the Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum in Yokohama yesterday. Now Yokohama is only a short detour away from the Shinkansen line to Osaka, our destination for the day, so we thought… Read more

  • Yokohama – from noodles to rockets

    Have you ever looked into a steaming bowl of instant noodles, made by the simple addition of boiling water and a sachet of flavouring, and wondered how it came to be? No, me neither, but today we were about to find out. Gazing out the window at the eighteenth floor of our hotel we could… Read more