Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toki Time!

We just had the best holiday guys.

Taking advantage of a four day weekend, we took some buses and a ferry over to Sado Island off the west coast of Japan to read books and get some sea air.

We stayed at the Green Village Hostel in Niibo which was a joy. The owner, Chikako (Oba-chan), was super kind and fed us delicious dinners and breakfasts. She decided to give us and the only other guest there (a Japanese girl studying the Japanese Crested Ibis) a personal tour of the island. So for two full days we were whisked from one tourist attraction to the next. We wouldn't have seen half the things we did without her - ありがとう ちかこさん!

We are going to have to break this trip up into at least four posts as we took nearly 400 photos, went to three museums, sailed in two boats, saw two temples, watched birds, walked on beaches and frolicked in fields.

So without further ado let us begin with a tour of the neighbourhood.

Day 1 breakfast. New Zealand could do with more food trays in adorable colours.

Gareth and the Japanese Crested Ibis - Toki

Window peeping

Toki lamp-post

Buying a cute knitted thing shaped like a fish from a tiny shop with a ferocious small dog.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kicking around in Kyoto

Back in March when we went down to Osaka to have a reprieve from the aftershocks, we managed to spend a lovely day in Kyoto visiting Kiyomizu-dera.
And here is the photographic evidence.

This is me knowing exactly where we are.

Kiyomizu-dera was very impressive and the view over Kyoto was exceptional. Unluckily for us we could tell by all the budding cherry trees just how spectacular it could have looked in two weeks' time.

The Jishu Shrine is dedicated to the god of love and has two "love stones" six metres apart. It is said if you can walk between the two in a straight line with your eyes closed you will find true love. How nice.

One of the love stones.

The Jishu Shrine and pretty girls wishing for romance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh my birthday

Thank you, lovely friends and family for your happy wishes, cards and presents!
I had a jolly good day at home with some chums and Gareth.

There were flowers, a cat card, some glasses of Moet, and Gareth made me a friggin awesome strawberry cake. The delights of a northern summer birthday!

Oh and Vanessa and Warren - your brooch went perfectly with my new rabbit leggings! Thanks!!

Then there was a tipple more Moet and some Brideshead Revisited.

The best part of the day however was playing with the new toy Gareth gave me - my own planetarium! It's amaaaazing!!
Thanks love.

Friday, June 3, 2011


After the wedding business was all wrapped up we spent a day wandering around Yokohama.

We were quite smitten. Wide streets, shiny buildings, Chinatown and trees.

I fell in love with all the Chinese junk shops. I restrained myself to just a pot holder and a lantern.

Blindly taking photos with a wavering hand above the crowds. Ridiculous results.

Animal shaped steamed buns - oh yes.

I ate a green panda with matcha goo in the middle and Gareth got a delightful-looking but disappointingly gelatinous pork pig bun. (Fact: pigs say "boo boo" not "oink" in Japan. What do ghosts say then??)

We also spotted this advertisement. What better way to show your dislike of guns by having adorable otters smashing them on their bellies.

the weddingu

Joel and Kumi Porter.