There are over 2000 temples in Kyoto. Seventeen of them are UNESCO World Heritage sites. You are somewhat spoiled for choice. I love going to the temples that are not over-run with tourists. The places where you can actually feel the gravity of the history. These enchanting places that are part of local people’s everyday … Continue reading Kyoto’s Tangible History
Tokyo Ueno Station and Homelessness
Book Review Between Christmas and New Year I read a fascinating novel by Yu Miri called Tokyo Ueno Station, which was in my Christmas stocking ☺️ The writing style is different to any I have encountered before, with no chapters, not many scene breaks and a fluidity between different points in time. Written from the … Continue reading Tokyo Ueno Station and Homelessness
Setting Intentions in Kochi
New Year's Eve morning, 2015. Seven years ago. I am sitting in the Emperor Award winning garden of my friend Maki's grandfather. I have travelled to Takimoto, Kochi, Shikoku, Japan with my friend Maki, her two kids and my two kids. It is my third New Year alone, after losing my late husband, Michael. It … Continue reading Setting Intentions in Kochi
Is a JR Pass worth it?
JR Value? Lots of people ask me this question. On the surface, a JR Pass, or Japan Rail Pass can seem expensive. At this time a 7 day pass is $345, a 14 day is $550 and a 21 day $703AUD. If you are intending to explore Japan beyond Tokyo, the pass is exceptional value … Continue reading Is a JR Pass worth it?
In Conversation with Erin Lindwall
Premium Matcha Importer and fellow Japanophile Erin Lindwall is an Australian who, like me, has a deep affinity with Japan. She is also a self-confessed Matcha addict. Matcha is finely ground green tea, grown in the shade which makes it vibrant green in colour. It was historically served in Japanese Tea Ceremony (Cha No Yu in … Continue reading In Conversation with Erin Lindwall
Tokyo Book and Bed
Have you ever wished you could stow away in a bookshop over night? I have always been a bookworm. Intrinsically able to navigate my way to and from the train station without taking my eyes away from the words. I could read for hours at a time, in the bath, under the blanket with a … Continue reading Tokyo Book and Bed
Uniquely Japanese- Ōsōji お掃除
Ōsōji 大掃除 is “New Year’s Cleaning”. More literally it means big cleaning. It is a custom observed by most people in Japan, sometime in December. Often in the last few days of the year. Usually around three days cleaning, not dissimilar to a "spring clean". This allows the space to be purified in order to … Continue reading Uniquely Japanese- Ōsōji お掃除
Why do they eat KFC for Christmas in Japan?
Have you ever wondered why KFC is the traditional Christmas meal in Japan? I spent Christmas of 2015 in Japan. I am not sure why, but I was surprised by the fact that Christmas is not really celebrated in Japan. Of course, Japan is not a Christian country. In fact only around 1% of the … Continue reading Why do they eat KFC for Christmas in Japan?
The Master…of Meshi
Midnight Diner Meshi 飯 means food in Japanese. More literally, rice. However the words rice and food are almost interchangeable in meaning in Japan. Meshiya 飯屋 means food shop, or diner. Midnight Diner, is a Japanese tv show available on Netflix in Australia. The title in Japanese is Shinya Shokudo 深夜食堂. The show is about … Continue reading The Master…of Meshi
In Conversation with Maki Ueta, owner of a Kyoto Guesthouse
Maki and I met in April 2015 when my kids and I stayed in her exceptional guesthouse in Higashiyama in Kyoto. I had a feeling while I was booking Guesthouse Soi and reading reviews that something very special was going to eventuate. I was right. We stayed four nights in Kyoto and I made a … Continue reading In Conversation with Maki Ueta, owner of a Kyoto Guesthouse