29 June 2010

Sumoto & Chiba

Made it to Japan about 7pm Sunday after 8 hr flight from Cairns. Nice
uneventful flight meaning I had a good chance to get some "vertical"
rest, but, so happenned I got a seat next to a uni student from, of
all places, Hiroshima! She ws return back home to Japan after studying
a year studying abroad. So spent a good chunk of the time in the air
talking in a mixture of English and Japanese (which is often the case)
reducing the apparent flight time.

Didn't make the connection to get the bus to Sumoto to catch up with
my Jamaican friend, so went back to Osaka and grabbed some yakisoba.
Was soooo tired, hungry and just wanted to lie down!!! Found some
accommodation for 4 hours near Osaka station. Bathroom was pretty
fancy with all the gadgets: spa, tv, number different control panels

Just managed to get up at 5:15am to train to Sannomiya and bus to
Sumoto. Was really worth it, even though only 4 hours.

Then bullet trained up to Tokyo to see Ryuichi, great friend from
Hiroshima but now in Chiba. Had really nice teishoku meal, walked
around Chiba port and enjoyed hanging out with Ryuichi. Slept over at
his place, up at 8:30, and now on a crowded train to Tokyo where I'll
transfer to go to Maebashi in Gunma to see some good family friends!

Even though I'd lived in Japan 2 years, still a few firsts: fly into
Kansai Airport, go to Sumoto on Awajishima, travel on world's longest
central span (~2km) bridge to Awajishima, use JR Pass with unlimited
shinkansen use for a week, sleep horizontal on non crowded bullet
train, go in non-Nozomi and non-Tokaido shinkansen, stop over in Chiba
city, and today, go to Gunma prefecture.

All the things about Japan are coming back to my mind. Humid rainy
season, cheap convenience store food, very ordered society, cleanness,
systems and industry, road markings, little things, fashion, high
quality and standards, non-emotive public interaction, real genuine
kindness, and I could go on and on.

I'm really enjoying being back, have plenty of opportunity to practice
Japanese. Well, it's now time for some brekky on the Shinkansen.

27 June 2010

Japan Again

Well, well, here we are at Sydney airport waiting to get on a Jetstar
flight for Japan. Yay!!! Since I'm on the move again, thought it would
be fitting to write a blog post after a 1 year blog famine.

I look out the window to the glorious airport view and Hsbc bank
advertising, but notice a full round silver disc in the sky. Yes,
still dark, 6am, winter, and spent a lovely airport sleep trying to
convince myself I was comfortable and apparently asleep!

Flew up last night from Melbourne, saw what I thought was a near full
moon, but later found out when the announcer spoke, that it was an
eclipse! Haha! Tricked Brad again.

This tome I'm gonna take shots of "Ok" my little travelling companion
which my Mum gave me when I was in Japan. It's a little stuffed
kangaroo. You'll see him in the pics. He's been around Asia and had
shots with famous people in Tiananmann Square!

Good number of Japanese people in line and at waiting area making me
feel like I'm on the way and nearly there. Spent 2 years living in
Japan and a year later am finding myself back there.

So, the plan is something like this:
Jun 26 Sydney, 27 Osaka, 28 Tokyo, 30 Hiroshima, Jul 4 Tokyo, 7
Hokkaido, 11 Hakone, 13 Kyoto, 14 Brisbane, 15 Melbourne.

Mostly looking forward to spending time with really good friends! Miss
them a lot: students I taught English, teachers, parents, colleagues,
kids, church members, travel mates, and Aussie friends. Then, being a
bit of a tour guide/translator for friends from Melbourne and checking
out some of the best in Japan!

The sky is beginning to lighten a little as we ebb towards sunrise,
reminding me of the long haul before I reach my next resting place
around 11:30 pm, after 2 flights, couple of shuttle buses, ferry and
bus ride. Spending tonight with a good English teaching buddy in
Sumoto, near Kobe.

What to do now but psych myself to try and rest on the plane... or
practice a bit of Japanese, depending.

Well, iPhones are handy. Typed this blog on it, signed up for travel
insurance, ordered some Bibles, planned more of my crazy schedule
using Japanese train timetables, emailed people to plan meeting up,
bought a bit of new music to listen to, made a few calls... All on
this silly little thong through the wee hours of 3 and 4 am.

Ok, time to go and climb inside this big metal bird which will deliver
me to the land of the rising sun (at night time).

04 June 2010


Well, haven't worked in a tall building before, so being on the 17th floor for 8 hours a day is still novelty for me. I began my new job as a financal software support analyst 5 weeks ago.

The other day, up here, I saw a leaf float past my window! How on earth does a leaf get up here? There are no trees anywhere near here, and the closet branch is about 50 meters below... I guess it must've been from up draft. Anyway, thought it was a bit funny :-)

And, I'll be in Japan later this month... can't wait! 27 June to 14 July.