Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sister on holidays

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo are visiting Japan and are flying to Japan today, this Sunday. I think they have a great holiday planned. 

Little Jo corrected my pronunciation of manga and amazingly knew that the tv show from the 70s? Kimba the White Lion was Japanese and I did not know that (more likely that I had forgotten). I knew Felix the Cat from the 60s was Japanese. I am amazed at how much Little Jo knows about popular young culture in Japan. I've forgotten the name now and she used the browser she is supposed to use on our computer that does not keep history for more than a day and has a family filter switched on. But there are whole shops for such things in Japan, and you have to book. She showed us a virtual tour of the shop, which took forever to watch. 

Dearest niece, sponge up information like there is no tomorrow, as you are doing. Soon enough your brain begins its decline as it starts to become subtractions from you brain, rather than additions. 

Our Friend in Japan has some convenient time off when the trio will be in the north of Japan. Well, I can't say they are going there to see her, I think they will like her friendly and familiar face and she will be kind to them. Actually, not sure why they are going to northern Japan. Perhaps it is because our Friend in Japan is there. They aren't seeing Mount Fuji, nor Kyoto. Thanks in advance Wombat for your kindness.

Bone Doctor was an exchange student in Japan and she plans to catch up with the family who hosted her, along with the Japanese exchange student who her own family hosted in Australia. BD is very clever and I expect she would know some basic Japanese language. 

Anyway, while I posted plenty of photos after we returned from our Japanese holiday, as per usual,  here are a few of my favourites from eight years ago. 

PS I am trying a larger font for your ageing eyes, or mine. It looks huge as I type but it looks ok in the preview. Your opinion is valued. 


It is hard to believe it was eight years ago. We arrived by train from Narita Airport to Ueno Station and we were promptly lost. Our hotel was nearby but we had no idea in what direction. I did not imagine Ueno Station was so large and had so many exits. We were supposed to arrive in daylight, but thanks to Jetstar we did not. It looked so simple on the map. Like lost children are told to do, we found a (smoking hot) policeman and sure enough, he directed us well. Next day we were back at the station to book train tickets north, and feeling much more relaxed. 



I don't remember taking this photo which must be at Ueno Station, but it is a nice thing to show, and saves me from inflicting a huge number of photos on you from the Transport Museum.


All over Japan are these attractive manhole infrastructure service covers.


Odd really, I was surprised at how beautifully Japanese maple trees grow in Japan. What?


Midsummer, we were thrilled and so excited to see Mount Fuji close up, the biscuit tin image from our childhoods.


Sulphur Mountain, where the sulphur turns eggs black.


Cruising on Lake whatever.




I think in Ueno Park.


Ok, just one photo from Japanese transport museum.


And another. I pretend drove a tram  that had working parts and we watched a turntable turn around a train. As we ate a metaphoric Devonshire Tea at the museum, a Shinkansen train shot past our window seats.


Our Shinkansen arrives to transport us to the north of Japan along the east coast. We had to change trains a couple of times to get to our destination in the north. Now it would only be a change from the Shink to a local train and it would be on a much newer and faster Shink.


I didn't mean to upload this photo, but this was the view from our Hirosaki hotel.


Hirosaki Castle gardens.


Hirosaki Castle (I think).


Orrisa Falls? Something like that on the way up the mountain.


Lake Towada. Very nice 'scenery'. One little boy has a very nice daddy.


Snuffling around was this prairie dog or as the Japanese call it Tanuki.


 A cultural parade in Hirosaki.


A temple outside Hirosaki. We had first visited a bakery and bought 'stuffs'.


Sculpture by the internationally known artist Yoshitmoto Nara.


Can't remember.

Mount Iwate dominates the skyline in Hirosaki. It is probably just as impressive as Mount Fuji. I think by the kindness of a friend of our Friend in Japan, we circumnavigated it.


I leave you with photos of some Hirosaki Park features, where we came across a lonely young European female traveller, so pleased to see some fair haired men and speak at ease in English. We loved our visit to Japan.



39 comments:

  1. My aging self LOVES the larger font. And the photographs of Japan. Smiling at your smoking hot policeman too.

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    1. Me too.... I don't have to sit quite so close to the screen.

      The photo from the Transport Museum is gorgeous. But it may be a low profile, Art Deco metal plaque.


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    2. EC, thanks. I am not sure that I can default to the larger font.

      Hels, yes, and I expect my original photo shows good detail.

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  2. First, I love the new font size. My vision is not the best and this does help!
    I have not been to Japan, but it is on my bucket list. From the East Coast of the USA, it is quite a commitment to make the trip. Jack says he has been there and done that...
    Just about set for our trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia. I hope it is quiet and uneventful!

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    1. Maribeth, quiet and uneventful does not make for entertaining blog posts.

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    2. Quite true, but it beats the hell out of a car accident, flat tire or getting lost!

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  3. The larger font is far better, in my opinion. It makes it so much easier to read.

    A great array of photos. And the young...everyone for that matter...should always be encouraged to expand their knowledge horizons. Researching and learning never grows old, even if we do.

    Have yourself a great week, Andrew. :)

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    1. Lee, the day I stop being curious about things will be the day I am on my deathbed. Thanks.

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  4. Anonymous7:20 am

    It's the lake near Hakone where you can take a cruise on a catamaran then a cable car trip up another mountain for another panoramic view of Fuiji and the countryside. If you think Ueno station is big, try Shinjuku. As for getting lost, you need a phone that is smarter than you and a GPS locator. Of course, asking a handsome Japanese policeman is more fun. - Ian

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    1. Quite true Ian. I just gave you a chance to show off your knowledge. I can't remember now, but we took the coach up or down and the chairlift in the opposite direction. At the top were the black eggs. We caught a peak hour weekday train at 5pm from Shinjuku Station to Ueno Station. It was busy but comfortable and pretty easy to use. The problem with Ueno was a lack of checking on my part before we arrived. I can't remember if our phones were very smart back then. We had a heavy laptop and we plugged it in to the appropriate socket at the hotel. I didn't know you were also knowledgeable about Japan.

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    2. Anonymous7:54 am

      He modestly replied ' I recognised the lake because we went there in May. In between the volcanos erupting, storms and mudslides, typhoons and earthquakes and Kansai airport going underwater. We timed it perfectly.' Heavy laptops reminded me of my first video recorder way back when. A monster. - Ian

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    3. As much as I like Japan, it is a troubled place at times. The old video recorder probably did not do any better, or maybe worse than the video recorders on our phones. The only time I used a video recorder was to film the drag show at Tiffany's in Pattaya and I later realised I did not really see the show properly, so no more filming for me.

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  5. Japan looks fascinating ! I would love to be on the bullet train, go to Koi fish breeders there or a Koi fish show ... no, I do not have those fish but I find them beautiful, Love to see those snow monkeys bathing in the hot spa's and their gardens... divine. Love to see that big bamboo garden.
    I like the bigger print too :)

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    1. Lady J. I nearly included a photo a Koi in a pond half out of the water to eat food on a stone wall. I wish I had included it now. They were big buggers. Our Friend in Japan has seen the snow monkeys.

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    2. Was the snow monkeys fabulous??? Sometimes you get to see something in life that you long to see and its a fizzer! I hope the monkeys were wonderful !!

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    3. It was when she first moved to Japan and a long time ago now, but I am sure they were as wonderful as expected.

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  6. A metaphoric devonshire tea. Mmmmm, sounds delicious.

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    1. Victor, I can't remember what we ate, but it was at the time for afternoon tea. We only ate real Japanese food once in Japan, and that was enough.

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  7. Larger font is appreciated, Andrew. Oh, and Japan is impressive!

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    1. Good to hear from you Jan. It was a great holiday in Japan.

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  8. I love that cream and burgundy train; so utterly stylish, as is so much of Japanese culture.

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    1. Cro, style in Japan seems to be an essential part of any design and project. Even on the tiniest degree in the streets. You can see thought goes into everything.

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  9. Japanese gardens are always so pretty. I really like that big white dog statue.

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    1. River, we have a couple of face washers designed by him, featuring cats. I should post a photo of them.

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  10. I'm happy with the bigger font too, I've been having difficulty lately with books that have small print and I can't enlarge as I do on the kindle or laptop. Might be time for new glasses again.

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    1. Yeah River, me too. I have just bought new reading glasses, and while they look nice and work well, they are heavy on my nose.

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    2. R said my new glasses look nice on, so they are now my going out glasses, as opposed to my home glasses, the old ones.

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    3. Vanity, thy name is Andrew.

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    4. While I have little to be vain about, I probably am.

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  11. It looks very beautiful when you went and I'm sure Little Jo and Mum will have a grand time on vacation.

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    1. Strayer, I think they will have a good time. Their hotels look nice enough.

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  12. Fab photos of your trip Andrew, if I could overcome my fear of flying I'd like to go there, right Sydney is as far as I can go, sad hey 😉
    P.s. like the bigger font but then I am 300 yrs old 😀

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    1. Grace, yes, you would have to sleep on your way to Japan and you would no longer be able to hold the plane up with your grip of the armrests.

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  13. Replies
    1. Jackie, move it up the list. It is a great country to visit, even if you don't understand how so many things work, or don't.

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  14. aaah so many places to go to, so little time. I wish I could retire now and just travel the world.

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    1. Fen, you need time and money and both are in short supply for most of us.

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  15. Great photos of Japan Andrew. It's on my wish list, just wish I had more free time to travel.
    My son has visited Japan and he was so impressed with how the Japanese were so polite.

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    1. Sami, they are terribly polite and helpful but you do have to ask. Of course it can be very hot and humid in the summer and snow in the winter.

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