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Category: Japan09

  • The long ride home

    The final day in Japan is never easy, never relaxed. There is always so much left to do that it usually ends up as a rushed frenzy of activity rather than a quiet goodbye. We always leave with heavier bags and even heavier hearts. Departing the hotel on time has been a constant problem throughout… Read more

  • Sadness in Shinjuku

    I’m so sad. This will not come as news to many seeing as my final full day in Japan was spent purchasing model railway components, perving at cool computers and buying a lunchbox. But that’s not what I meant. I am sad because we won’t be spending another night here in this hotel gazing out… Read more

  • Shopping in Shibuya and Shinjuku

    I love the variety of goods on sale in Japan. Take non-alcoholic drinks, for example. In Australia you can go to any shop and you have the same drinks available. The flavours are always the same, the variation is basically if the fridge is a Cadbury-Schweppes, Pepsi or Coca-Cola fridge. In Japan visits to different… Read more

  • Bamboo, blossoms and monkey business

    It’s so good to be back in Shinjuku! It is our spiritual home in Japan. Actually it’s not spiritual at all, it’s totally materialistic, loud and flashy. But our day started in a highly spiritual place in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto. When planning this holiday one of the activities I wanted to do was… Read more

  • Castles, tea and trains

    Anyone who has only travelled on a Shinkansen and thinks that they have seen the best the Japan Railways has to offer is sadly deluded. Okay, the regional trains may not be as comfortable as a Shinkansen, but the often fantastic views more than compensate for this. We bought day tickets for the Matsue Lakeline… Read more

  • Art, gardens and warm feet

    We set out to visit the world’s best Japanese garden, but we barely set foot in it. That’s okay, because it’s designed to be viewed through glass windows. A local express delivered us to Yasugi with it’s very wooden station selling all manner of local crafts and foodstuffs. From there the free shuttle bus took… Read more

  • Tsuwano go there

    It is such a struggle getting out of the hotels on time. We had to race down the main strip of Yamaguchi in the rain rolling our bags noisily behind us in order to reach the station in time for our train to Tsuwano. It’s the first day of wet weather on this trip, which… Read more

  • Goldfish lanterns, soy sauce and a bridge to blossoms

    I have a fondness for goldfish and I love lanterns, so how could I resist combining the two? Today we caught the train to Yanai where Kingyo Chouchin, or paper goldfish lanterns, are made. It was a journey of sniffles as Alex has given us his cold. I hate getting a cold in Japan, a… Read more

  • Doing the rounds in Kagoshima

    We tried to get out early from the hotel this morning. We did make it down for the free Japanese breakfast of rice and soup, but couldn’t quite check out on time. Our luggage left in the care of the hotel we eventually made it to Hakata Station, where we tried to book some seats… Read more

  • Mamma mia, it’s dancing water[loo]!

    It proved impossible for us to leave the hotel before midday. We woke up too late for the free breakfast and then washed our clothes in the hotel coin laundry. Eventually we made it to Hakata station, where we visited a travel agent to try to book some hotels for the 20th and 21st. It’s… Read more