A Travellerspoint blog

Arrival in Sydney

Experiencing the "Spirit of Australia"

rain
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Evidently I have issues, a nine hour flight (yet only one hours time difference) and how much sleep do I get, errr about an hour, I swear I need Business at least on these long haul flights……
Was really looking forward to seeing Richard, it had been too long.
Hmmph well arriving in Sydney got my goat, albeit we landed ten minutes early then we had to sit to wait for a free gate for about 20 minutes then the pilot evidently cannot park as the seatbelt sign was switched off only for him to announce the plane had to be moved back a foot so everyone had to sit back down and fasten up (and you know the free for all when the seat belt sign is released!) all the while the bloody recorded voice of some Aussie Sheila telling us “you arrre experiencing the spiriiit offfff Austraaaaliaaa” yeah too bleeding right…..
To top it all off it was raining and cold….actual cold in Sydney…….
The tiredness was a blur, lets leave day one.

Posted by kennedy84 01:57 Archived in Australia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Nagoya

Nagoya.....a little night music

rain
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Waking up at 1:15pm after all the singing, no hangover thank you very much, James and I visited a huge Green Buddha, its like 30 ft or something, it rained a lot but was a pretty cool shrine to some old Emperor’s father. We ended up at a tiny corner bar (called Cigar something or other) where an 8 piece Japanese Cuban band were playing, they were really cool and sweet and very very good, killer times!
The following day I headed to Kyoto which was like the hottest humid day in the world, nice place but unfortunately no glimpse of Geisha slipping behind curtains like the guidebook said I would! Kyoto is the real deal of Olde World Traditional Japan, great Imperial Palace Gardens, very real!
In the evening we went to see a Rock band, now here is something fun in Japan, the concert started at about 6.30 and was over by 8.30, that was it! The first band was SHOCKINGLY bad, I kid you not, i've heard better music coming out of my arse! However the 2nd band (who we really went to see) were....ok.
It would appear my time in Nagoya was fairly music orientated.
Had a revelation today, foolishly when I got the 7day Rail pass I somehow thought that it would be valid monday to monday (hello count Robert!) so found out that I would need to head back to Tokyo on sunday not monday, no major biggie really.
On my last day in Nagoya we headed to this old Postal town intending to do a 7.7km walk, however it rained like nobodies business, so we wondered the town and bought things, really good day though.
Headed back to Tokyo and found a hotel in Narita near the airport (complementary personal transfer to the airport on the monday....somehow I don't think that appears in the Backpackers guide to the world!)
I MADE A FRIEND, albeit it a 40 year old lady of Austrian origin now living in Australia, she joked about telling her bf she'd picked up a 24 year ld in the airport, ooo errr missus! Anyway, great to talk to someone for a few hours, she said Australians had no culture.....we'll see.

Posted by kennedy84 21:27 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Tokyo to Nagoya

The worst 3 dispositions.....

overcast -17 °C
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Faced with my last official day in Tokyo I decided I would take a visit to an authentic Onsen, an outdoor spa bath......blah blah couldn't find the place (I swear they only translate signs to English if they want the custom!) Consequently the rain and humidity had me feeling rather sweaty, greasy and smelly, my 3 worst dispositions.
In the afternoon it seemed the grey sky was here to stay, plus I had my large rucksack which I did manage to deposit in Tokyo station (did I mention this is the size of Waterloo, Victoria, Kings X, Bank and Oxford Circus stations all rolled into one....plus Canary Wharf for good measures!) So I headed to the "Piccadilly" Cinema where Hancock was showing in English, I just couldn't face another day Louis V spotting!
Shinkansen Bullet trains are awesome! When the train reaches the end of the line about a 100 cleaners board the train and within 5 minutes turn the whole train around, literally, the seats swing round so you always face the direction of travel! Plus they replace each headrest cover with a new clean starched one, wouldn't get that on the 8:45 Basingstoke to London Waterloo would you!

In Nagoya I met my cousin James, his wife Kayte and some of their fellow teaching buddies, after dinner we did like any normal Japanese person, Karaoke! Woo hoo, in Japan their karaoke isn't like a pub in England, they hire small rooms for themselves (no seriously!) one-on-one sing offs or groups of friends.....great time and stumbled home at 6.30 am, hardcore!

Posted by kennedy84 15:11 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Japan

Lets hit the beach

sunny

Thought i`d check out the Tokyo bay and Odaiba area today, the latter being a sort of man made island juttin out of the bay, this involved a fun trip on the driverless monorail over the huge rainbow bridge. On Odaiba they have the usual things, man made beach (next to dirty Tokyo bay water, gross, its like the Thames) a huge ferris wheel, hotels, a gizzilion shopping malls and Toyota expo, showing all their latest cars etc, oh yeah and a Statue of Liberty replica.
As the Toyota expo was free I wondered around that and the history of cars garage, all fun and frolicks, went on a driverless car which was cool, apparently something we can expect to use in the future (Claire may be of use to you?!)
Odaiba was strangely peaceful, hardly any people around, has a nature reserve of sorts and was a good break from hectic city centre, excellent view of skyline shrouded in a haze.....however it was really sunny that day, awesome, I have a bit of colour!
Decided to wonder into the huge pet store in the mall, I know England has banished the selling of anything bigger than rabbits in petshops but here they still sell miniture dogs/puppies, they all seem well looked after, reckon they could challenge Paris Hilton here with the range of doggy clothes, I kid you not, you can dress your pooch up as Winnie, Tigger and Piglet! They also had a cake bakery, selling pooch cupcakes and birthday cakes, evidently dogs here read English as they had "Happy Birthday" written on them!
Met Yuka again in the evening, also saw the Mitsui HQ, good to know where the bods are that used to pay me, also have pics for you MERMites....coming soon.
Learned something today, Nippon is Japan (in Japanese) huh, who knew, how dumb am I!

OH and the most exciting thing here....They have WICKED the musical, so wish I had found out sooner, would love to see it especially as it is most likely in Japanese, the Glinda and Elphaba in the poster are defo Japanese, awesome!

Posted by kennedy84 18:54 Comments (0)

Japan

What Sicko does that?

overcast -17 °C

After a good night sleep, (I should add there are 4 in my room, and they all seemed to be working whilst here, so woken early by them) all on the traditional mats and fold up futon things, I decided for breakfast I would find the Mister Donut I had seen near the Ryokan.
Great, so I order the cafe au lait and pick the nice looking filled donut at the end of the display cabinet, next to the pink topped rings, chocolate and sugar coated ones, took my seat and took a bite from the donut, no filling yet and observed the farely unsweet coating, wondering still what flavour it could be, apple? Jam? no probably some Japanese custard type thing, another bite, no filling yet, then another, then on the 4th bite I hit the filling.....my first thought was, strange, peanut butter.....oh no, boy was I wrong, it was fricking curry! Who does that? what sicko would fill a donut with curry?!
Coffee and donut finished, actually was rather nice.
Decided to take myself over to Harajuku, I observed this as the Camden of Tokyo, quite a few goth type shops and basicially the alternative youth fashion area, you know girls with furry tails pinned to their alice in wonderland dresses, typical work attire.
Had chicken Katsu curry for dinner, tasted like the wagyourmammas katsu curry and quite possible the same sauce as the donut.

Observations:
The Japanese cycle alot, great, never ever stick to the cycle lanes and have umberellas up whilst cycling on pavements, good times.
Sushi only tomorrow.

Posted by kennedy84 18:39 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

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