RAKU- A sublime dining experience.

When I looked up “best Japanese restaurant” in Canberra, Raku was the obvious front runner, with many people extolling its virtues. I always look up the best local Japanese when we travel, as we love eating Japanese food and I am always interested to see how other places do it differently. We are lucky in…

Guesthouse Soi- My Home Away From Home

My first time travelling in Japan was just over five years ago. We travelled for a month and I tried to see as much as I could. We stayed in Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kamakura and had booked to stay in Hakuba. We also stayed in Kyoto. For only four short days. We had loved Tokyo,…

Love in the Time of Coronavirus… or The Quiet Ryokan

Twenty five days ago I wrote a blog about our impending trip to Japan. It feels like a year ago. Needless to say our plans have been completely disbanded and even if we wanted to leave the country, we could not. I am somewhat relieved we were not stuck in a difficult situation of being…

Travel and the Coronavirus

As a young person, probably in my late teens, I became somewhat obsessed with epidemiology and read voraciously about viruses, the CDC and Ebola, in particular. The Hot Zone, Virus X and The Coming Plague still sit on the shelf in our study. I feel like I have been waiting for the Coronavirus, without knowing…

Japan Fan in New York

Last week I was lucky enough to spend four days in New York on the way home from visiting relatives in Canada. What a crazy city. I am used to busy, I travel to Tokyo a bit, but this was different. Manhattan is so condensed and the buildings are so tall, it was a little…

Mining in to Hashima’s History

Wednesday morning saw us enjoying another delightful Japanese style breakfast, cooked by Fujiwara-san’s wife. The breakfast room was very pretty with shoji screens, tatami and shiny black furniture. The day out the window looked positively miserable. We have been quite lucky with the weather, with only short periods of rain. It’s the wet season here,…

Gunkanjima, the Battleship Island

Tuesday morning we were up early for a traditional ryokan breakfast. Not nearly quite as terrifying as our previous ryokan experience, a much more homely Japanese breakfast of saba (mackerel), rice, miso, tofu, pickles and green tea, the meal was delicious and satisfying. Fujiwara-san, the owner of the ryokan, is so cute, and his family…

Headed for Kyushu

Monday morning we were booked to take three shinkansen from Kyoto to Nagasaki. I woke up feeling very less than average and had been coughing and spluttering all night. I always feel sad about leaving Kyoto, but this time I was feeling so unwell, it was overpowering my impending dread. I got up early and…

An Unexpected Cultural Adventure

On Sunday, Super Sake Boy and I had arranged to meet up with the very lovely Fujimoris, the couple we met at Shu Kura sake bar in Ponto-cho. Our conversation on the evening was very broken English/Japanese and somewhat sake fuelled, but fun and interesting, none-the-less. Super Sake Boy had painstakingly written his emails in…

Matcha, Sushi, Fairy Floss and Echoes of Murasaki

Saturday morning we decided to have a bit of a lazy and slow start to the day, as we had arranged to go to Uji with Maki and Senki and Sen-chan had track and field club in the morning. It was a good reason to have some down time. We did a bunch of washing…