Miyajima at high tide


This morning we headed back out to Miyajima to see the gate at high tide, we yet again had a little adventure with the public transport system but we build time for those adventures in to our scheduling. We had hoped that the cute little coffee shop we went past yesterday would be open ad the had a sign up for gingerbread lattes that sounded Luke a great breakfast. It was of course not open and we settled with drinks from 7-11. It was a beautiful sight to see the gate “floating” and it was made more beautiful by the fact that it started it started to snow as we were on the beach taking our photos. We had to make a dash back to the ferry but we made it. The coffee shop was still not open but we came across something great at the shop at the station. A 3 pack of green tea macarons for 105 yen. Yep you can pick your jaw up off the keyboard now. They were slightly more cake than typical macarons but they were oh so good. We are going to keep an eye out for more favours.

Back to the hostel to check out and then back to the station yet again which brings us to where we are now – on the bullet train making our way up to Nagano (3. 5 train legs to go) where they’ve had 2cm of snow forecast for this afternoon 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Snow, downtown and other adventures



After getting back from Miyajima yesterday afternoon, we picked up our bags from the locker at the station and made our way to the hostel not before a stop to pick up some citrus Kit-Kats (mmm Kit-Kats).  After checking in and discovering that we have a real urban Japanese view from our room (see the picture), we rugged up and got the street car downtown. We walked the streets and wished our feet were 3-5cm shorter as we found shop after shop that sold all types of socks (thigh high, knee high, ankles and oh so many sockettes) as well as tights, stockings and leg warmers. There were so many pretty things.

Our stomachs continued to grumble but we were yet again slightly scared by the signs we were seeing and our lack of understanding of what on earth they said. We came across a grocery store and our stomachs were saved. The Japanese do prepackaged food very well. I picked up some rice paper rolls and Georgie got steamed salmon and broccolini type vegetable tempura (yum). We also picked up snacks for the train and green tea Kit-Kats. We meandered round some more and tried not to open our eyes too wide at the prices in the gourmet grocery store.

We had look in a book store and I picked up the Cath Kidston spring/summer 2010 e-mook (google book or e-mook – they take gifts with purchases to a whole new level).  Speaking of Cath Kidston I’ve seen more of her bags in 12 hours than I’ve seen in the last year in Brisbane – I fit right in with my Cath Kidston saddle bag.

As we left the covered market streets we walked into something amazing;  it was snowing! Just little flurries but enough to know it was snow. We then made our way back to the hostel. Where the real adventure of the night would begin. You see, during our downtown adventures something was playing on my mind. Where on earth had I put my railpass?  It was not in my daybag as I had discovered on the street car. Back at the hostel we went through my day bag, the paperwork folder, the top of my pack, Georgie’s stuff, even pulled the room apart. At this point I’m starting to think a whole lot of explicit words that I’m not going to type. I thought I must have left it on the check-in counter but nope, nothing there and the lady was not all optimistic about JR replacing it even though I had it for less than a day. We headed up to the rail station and came to the police first and entered into a mix of English, Japanese and pointing to get what had happened across. A lost property form was filled out – I got to see my name written in Japanese and was given a reference number and told good luck.

Next we went to the JR ticket office and were told to go next door to the information office. We walked in and at this point I’m feeling terrible. We’ve got a million train rides to go and I’ve lost my pass and it would be a lot of money to buy all those individual tickets. At the information office we started the English and pointing about the pass and one of the officers asks where we are from, “Australia” we say and they go “ahh Australia” and one man goes into a little room and walks out with a rail pass. He then sits down at his computer and goes back to entering in other lost property with the rail pass sitting beside him. After a while he gets to the pass and prints off a sheet of paper and comes over to the counter. He then has a look at my passport and slowly opens the pass, we continue to grip the counter in the hope that it is my rail pass. He opens the pass and there it is my name!

Oh boy was I happy! I gave them hugs across the counter and then signed the piece of paper saying I had received it.

Oh happy day! I would now be able to sleep and as Georgie said to me as we were walking back to the hostel, she had no idea what to say to me to console me over my likely loss of my rail pass. She was however able to give me a hug and when we got back to the hostel we had a green tea Kit-Kat each and a mug of milky black tea.

It was quite a night.

My rail pass is now very safely tucked in its own little picketing the Cath Kidston hand bag organiser that I got in the book mentioned above.

The water gate


After a walk round the Hiroshima Peace Park during which we had 3 seasons in 45 mins, we headed back to the station to catch the train and ferry out to Miyajima.

Miyajima was a sight to see. The fat furry deer with white heart bottoms, the wide variety of the same souvenirs in shop after shop, very yummy grilled oysters on a stick and of course the various shrines, temples and of course the gate. It was just after low tide when we went out this afternoon and we have made plans to go back early tomorrow morning to see the gate “floating” at high tide.

Hello Japan


Well Georgie and I have survived the Jetstar flight from the Gold Coast to Osaka. We were really surprised with the quality of the plane, was expecting a more AirAsia like plane. Would fly JetStar international again for sure. After a few little confusions we made it Shin-Osaka YH, really nice hostel. Great views over the city and we had a 4-6 bed dorm to ourselves.

We decided to hedge our bets and have Indian for dinner – no language problems and I think the staff were grateful to have English speaking customers. It was a good meal. 1200 yen for rice, curry, crunchy salad, a massive naan, chai and mango ice cream. Wish we had Indian for that price back home!

We had a look in some corner stores and found some interesting goods – pringles with a little container of dipping sauce! Also found almond Kit-Kats are creme caramel Kit-Kats!  I remember when I first saw Japanese Kit-Kats on the Floating World Views blog, I knew that when I got to Japan I would be hunting down as many flavours as I could find.

We are currently on the Hikata bullet train on the way to Hiroshima.

the next few days

The next six days are going to be slightly manic.

Tomorrow – I have work (of course), I get my tooth implant, I’ve got postgrad orientation stuff to do at uni and then I have The Whitlams with the QSO tomorrow night.

Friday – Work and then straight to the airport to catch a flight to Hobart.

Saturday – Wedding of my cousin on the beach at Coles Bay/Freycinet

Sunday – Post wedding activities and flying home Sunday night.

Monday – Work and first uni lecture

Tuesday – Fly to Japan for 2 weeks. (Yeah, I’ll be missing four classes – two for each subject, whilst I’m away)

I’m so crazy looking forward to going to Japan. G (one of my best girl friends) and I are going to have a blast (literally as they having a bit of a cold snap at the moment and it is forecast to snow for the days we are up in the alps!!!).

It’s going to be crazy. I bought a new lens the other week, the 28mm 1.8 which will be one of the two lenses I’m taking to Japan, the other will be the 50mm 1.4. I was thinking of taking my 16-35mm 2.8 but it is a heavy piece of glass. I took a few photos with the 28mm the other day and I’m impressed

Multi use Figgjo
Yep, some more of my Figgjo Flint Lotte. Here you see a creamer which doubles as a bobby pin and nail utensil holder, a sugar pot that holds bracelets and hair clips and my soufflé dish which holds jewellery.

Playing with the 28mm 1.8

Playing with the 28mm 1.8

Playing with the 28mm 1.8Playing with the 28mm 1.8Playing with the 28mm 1.8

French music vs Icelandic food, the battle for which is written about first

aka a really long post title.

I’m/We/A group of us are going to see Gainsbourg on Wednesday night at Palace Centro. I received an email a few weeks ago offering free tickets so I thought why not. I recognised the name but typical of me could not place a song title or the like.

I finally got round to watching the trailer and it looks really good – yeah it’s a bio-pic but the music, the setting, the people, it’s all good.

The Trailer

Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus

and moving on….

I came home today to find a little red box sitting on the counter, a Pósturinn box. A birthday present from halfway round the world. I then artfully arranged the contents for a photo, with a sort of building blocks theme … note the Give Way sign, I like getting that sign in photos I take on the deck.

Life Essentials

mmm Prince Polo bars, a Hraun bar (sort of like the Icelandic version of a Picnic – as in a chocolate bar that looks a bit ugly but is pretty tasty) and an obligatory chocolate liquorice bar – I’m no fan of liquorice but some things just have to be sent. More importantly in the parcel were two jars of jam. One marked Red Lava 2010 and the other RGH2 Sept 2010. The Red Lava is a chilli jam, a “flavour bomb” for want of a better phrase, the other RGH2 is redcurrant, honey and ginger. I think RGH2 will go pretty well on the fruit toast.

I also finished uploading all my photos from the Iceland trip on the weekend – just have some video to get up at some stage. Go have a looksie, ahh I wonder when I will get to Iceland again.

Dyrhólaey, 355/365

and with that tomorrow, I get my stitches taken out 🙂