Nikko

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Well hello there!

Yesterday was a bit epic. We were travelling for about 15 hours and crossed more than half of Japan. An unexpected highway accident put us back a couple of hours with missed trains…. but we got into Nikko around 10.30pm. We were very much ready for bed!

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I fully intended not to get out of bed today… but of course I did. It was a lovely slow start and eventually we made our way up to the cedar forests and World Heritage Shrine areas.

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We didn’t plan on going into any of them today – thats tomorrows plan. It was just nice to soak up the beauty of the area and walk off some of the food we have been eating!

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This area seemed geared around couples and good fortune for love and relationships. Walking through the hoop of woven reeds three times doing a figure 8 is supposed to be good. People also write names of loved ones on the paper – or hopeful loved ones – and tie onto the hoop. I think the hoop is burned ceremoniously at some point of the year.

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Little love fortunes everywhere.

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Bought fortunes. Keep the ones you like, tie the ones you don’t on the lines or trees so the bad fortunes goes away… anway, I think that’s how it goes.

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Anyway… that was a few views from our day! Hope your day was great too!

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Nagasaki

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Hello! Me again.

Last Friday we packed our bags and departed our awesome airbnb home. Mum and Dad were due to fly out that evening and some lovely friends collected them from the Kyoto station and took care of them for the day before seeing them safely to the airport.

That allowed us (Jeff, Rachel & myself) to be on a train a little earlier to start our 5 hour journey across to Nagasaki.

Happily all train changes went smoothly and we arrived without drama to see our good friends Nozomi and Tetsu again and meet their little girl Maruno for the first time.

 

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Our friends  run a cafe in a small town. Its a gorgeous quiet place and a dream after the busy craziness of Kyoto and Osaka. We explored the shrine which is just up the road from the cafe which has some of the wickedest rickety steps I have ever seen!

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We enjoyed the change of pace and catching up with friends… and ooooooo amazing food!

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Its been a busy day again today… so I am going to bid you goodnight  and dive into my futon!

Cheers!

 

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Miyajima

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Hello!

This might be my last post for a little while… we are heading off across to Nagasaki tomorrow and sending my folks back to Australia! Not sure how much reliable  connection I will get over the next little while.

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Yesterday we jumped back on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima and went a little further to the island, Miyajima. I was so glad it wasn’t as crazy swamped with tourists as the last time we were there… it gave Jeff a chance of seeing it for how beautiful it really is.

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We were really lucky to get there at low tide, so were able to walk out to the famous tori which spends half of its time up to it’s ankles in water. The shrine also appears to be floating when the tide is high as well.

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We did attempt to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch when we first arived… but the deer soon made that about impossible. They were like bold four legged seagulls that honed in on the rustle of a plastic lunch bag – and did not take no/shoo/bugger off/go away or any hint seriously.

One snuck around the other side of Dad and slobbered on his sandwich, and Dad being of the red headed temperament persuasion said (edited) “Fine have it then” and the offending deer was probably surprised with a very quick deposit of a sandwich practically up its nose. Possibly why we couldn’t  get rid of it and its friends so lunch was extremely awkward for us and extremely amusing for all the other passers-by.

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We enjoyed walking through the streets, looking at shops and headed up the hill a short way with the intention of taking the cable car up to the top of the mountain, however time was not going to permit so we just enjoyed the gorgeous countryside as we wandered back to the ferry.

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Anyway, we have to be up and out of here tomorrow reasonably early with things to organise followed by a 5 hour train journey!

Best if I got myself to sleep.

Hope everyone has a super weekend planned and I hope to be back to say hi soon.

Cheers!

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Hiroshima

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Hello again! Day 13 in Japan and still going everywhere possible without giving the poor parents a coronary!

They did take a well earned rest day yesterday while Jeff and I braved the Sunday bus & train schedules to go and visit our friends. We had a lovely visit, but gosh…. travel time was about 6 hours and we were a little bit ruined by the time we staggered in home!

Also apologies  for the lack of replies to comments. I clearly haven’t  gotten the total hang of this tablet system and my replies ‘fail to send’. So in the interests of less tanties on my part, I will wait until I am home to reply properly to you all who have had a chance to write something to me… I do appreciate and enjoy your comments.

Anyway – Hiroshima. This was what my Dad has been hanging out for. Not so much the city, but the train ride there via the Shinkansen (sometimes called the Bullet Train)

Zipping along the country at 300km/hr is pretty awesome and they are a smooth and comfortable ride. We have now all activated our JR passes which were well worth purchasing for the trips we are taking.

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We went into the museum at the Peace Park to read and learn a bit more of the sobering history. Afterwards we enjoyed a stroll through the park itself.

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The children’s  memorial… a young girl Sadoko (I need to check her name again) contracted leukemia after the fallout of the bomb and started to fold origami cranes in the belief she would be cured if she reached a certain amount. She sadly died like many others, but then other children carried on her folding legacy and a memorial was made.

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School children from all over add their cranes to the memorial.

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We all rang the peace bell before walking back past the dome and catching the bus back to go and see another beautiful garden before getting back on our speedy train back to Kyoto

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This was an absolutely delightful garden buried in the heart of the city… many little paths, big pond, beautiful koi and numerous quaint bridges.

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I could sit by one of these ponds and take koi photos all day… looking forward to getting home to play with the images from my camera!

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There were a lot of fabulous tea houses scattered about the gardens as well!

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Anyway, reckon its my bedtime again!

I hope you have all started the week fabulously!

Cheers

Himeji Castle

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Another few trips in a bus and train found us at the stunning Himeji Castle.

It’s  recently been refurbished & painted so its even more spectacular than usual.

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You get to walk through the grounds and paths up to the castle, then inside, up the 6 floors!

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The layout of the paths leading up to the castle are deliberately  confusing so enemies would be slowed down so arrows could be shot at them and rocks dropped on them too!

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Another lovely day done & dusted!

Time for bed for me!

Cheers

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Us at the front for scale and even though the whole castle isn’t  shown, the size is still impressive looking!

Yesterday in Nara

20171110_141135 Hello!

We did a day in Nara yesterday and it was quite a long day… I think we were all in bed before 9pm and dead to the world!

Nara is my favourite city… I used to live close by and also it was the first place I knew when starting to travel and live in Japan. So for me it is a very comfortable and familiar place.

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Our first stop was to a little Japanese garden. Not so well known by tourists but really beautiful. It was nice to go in and stroll around and enjoy the beauty and peace.

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The autumn colours are starting to show.

Next stop was to brave the crowds and deer and walk up on into Nara Park where I wanted to show my parents Todaiji… the amazing building housing the large seated Buddha.

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Its a stunning building…even more amazing that it was rebuilt at only two thirds its original size!

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The lanturn is from the original 8th century building

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And this has always been my favourite guardian… he has a wonderfully angry face – like he really takes his job seriously. Also the workmanship is superb!

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Well… thats a bit of our day in Nara!

Hope your day was great too

Cheers!

 

Shrines

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Hello! I have found my way back to my blog! Somehow I just couldnt make it work after my initial post… most annoying, but honestly was a bit cross-eyed-tired to try to sort it at the end of each day!

Anyway… having a lovely time here with my folks showing them around. Tourism has grown hugely since our last trip. Seems Japan got really popular!

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Today’s excursion was to Fushimi Inari. It’s a fab place to check out… literally thousands of tori line the pathways making stunning vermillion tunnels through the green of the mountainside.

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Once we started climbing a little further up, the crowds of selfie-taking hoardes thinned a bit which was nice.

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Some of the smaller shrines are so very old and worn

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I liked finding smaller paths and stone stairways to detour to.

I am glad Jeff is snapping away on his tablet… so now I have my act together at least I have some photos to share

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Hundreds of tiny folded cranes

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Anyway I hope everyone is doing well and I hope I will be able to return more frequently to annoy you all!

Cheers!

In Kyoto

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Well hello from Japan!

After a very very looooong day of travel (that started at 4am and you all know how much I LOVE early mornings! Haha ) we made it to Japan, then across to Kyoto where we have our accommodation for the two weeks my parents are here.

I figured it was easier for them to be settled in one spot and take day trips. So much to see in the Kansai area, which includes Kyoto, Osaka, Nara & Kobe.

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We all shaped up pretty well today and opted for a bit of sightseeing this afternoon. Since we are fairly close to the Golden Pavillion, I thought it would be a great start. Pretty popular and touristy but a must see if in Kyoto

(By the way all photos courtesy of Jeff via his tablet)

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Its a lovely walk into the moss gardens to see the temple floating (sort of) on the pond.

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Its a busy place where you jostle with plenty of people armed with cameras and selfie sticks, but just looking over the gardens gives you a peaceful feeling (as you fall over someone…)

Other old unadorned shrines are in the area with beautiful wooden details and surrounding gardens are there to be admired

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After leaving the crowds we walked back to our bus stop to find we had a 40 minute wait, so we slipped into a gorgeous peaceful shrine called Wara Tenjin Shrine

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Nobody else was in here so it was a wonderful place to rest and enjoy.

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Anyway, I think I have fought with Jeffs tablet enough for one night… It doesnt behave like my pc!

Hope everyone has had a fabulous week!

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

Ready! (Almost)

Last full day before hitting the road!
Let me start by relating the first drama of the day.
We have been giving Pip tablets morning and night since his vet visit. Not being able to get our house-sitter to continue this, the vet offered an injection to cover the time away. Being Siamese and a little high strung (lets not talk about ME beings slightly high strung over my cat) we thought since we had a nurse in the house we could give him the injection without dragging him back down to the vets.
No worries. Got the needle, instructions….
Let me quote to you from Jeffs facebook status:

“Thought giving a cat a pill was hard (Lisa & l are pros at this). Pip needed a steroid injection today. Poor fella…practically hit the ceiling and farted like no one’s business in the process . I only managed to get 0.2ml of 0.5ml into him. I totally suck as a cat nurse. So now it’s to the vet (which we were trying to avoid that stress)”

Sigh. Our gorgeous vet – bless her cotton socks – sorted Pip out and I was able to pick him up within half an hour. (AND she didn’t charge us anything!!!!! I was thrilled by her kindness) Pip was fine with me but it took a number of hours before he forgave Jeff!!!! (They are now snugged up in bed so I think all is forgiven.)
I do hate leaving him though… you can’t explain to animals how long you are going when you leave.

Back to the garden to do what I could with the time I had left.
First stop – hothouse:

A few weeds and dead chilli plants to pull and a few other seedlings to plant

Dodgy Brothers climbing frame made… putting in mini rock melons here

Also wanted some basil in the dirt too

So tiny… wonder how big they will be in a month (if they survive)

Then it was on to the duck yard garden to get the Apple Cucumbers in the ground too. The normal cucumbers dont seem to do well outside – I have those in the hothouse, but hopefully this season the apple cucumbers will go crazy again.

Another Dodgy Brothers climbing frame created!

No time to dig the whole patch… holes dug, mushroom compost shoved in, seedlings planted, covers put on! (And watered)

Pause – admire potatoes

And snow peas – that look a lot happier with being tied back and shelter

The three mystery pumpkins I planted the other day are looking splendid!

ooooo – and check out this parting present from the strawberry patch!

Mind you, early in the season I am always fighting the millipedes for the first ones!

OK – that about wraps things up! Must get on and do my final little tasks before bed.
Next time we speak it will be from the Land of the Rising Sun! (I hope)

Cheers!

 

 

 

I am tech challenged

Hi all…

I am still at Norwich House and up to the point of testing how to log into my blog and find all the buttons before I leave the country!

Be prepared for lots of typos and much less of my blah blah blah…

All this just hoping I can show & tell a little bit of our adventure as its happening

I will get back to my recal computer tonight to say hello andgoodbye in theproper manner!

Xxx