Our 2006 trip to Japan remains as one of our favourites. Three years before we had made the first of what is now many visits to Japan, but hot and humid September weather and the dreary grey urban expanses had left us largely unimpressed.
Then in 2005, at the end of a big holiday in Singapore and Europe, we stopped by Tokyo for a few days. It was during a day trip out to rural Nikko that I suddenly learned how to look at Japan properly and fallen in love.
Near the end of that stay B gave me permission to purchase a Japanese computer. I struggled to decide between a Sony Vaio M entertainment PC or a tiny, but equally attractive looking Sharp Mebius Muramasa CV mini notebook PC, a progenitor to netbooks.
The orange Vaio M is still my music player in my home office a decade later, plugged into a special transformer to cope with a 240 volt power supply rather than Japan’s 100 volts.
But I couldn’t get the Muramasa out of my head. A perfect travel computer (for the time). I’ll let you in on a little secret. This what drove me to use our frequent flyer points to return us to Japan in 2006.
So in April 2006 we found ourselves on our first and only bright orange Australian Airlines (version 2) flight to Osaka.
We experienced so many wonders on our travels. Cherry blossoms in some of Japan’s best gardens, the horrors of Hiroshima and the huge floats of the Takayama festival, not to mention its wonderful Hida beef. Castles in Matsumoto and Osaka, bowing deer in Nara, serene temples and magnificent mountain scenery. And so much more accompanied by John Williams’ soundtrack to Memoirs of a Geisha.
And yes, I got my Muramasa. Second hand and now faulty, but for a while a very handy travel tool for a very mobile user.