Finally got to ride the bullet train. An amazing experience, fast, clean and punctual to the second. At 300 kms an hour we were in Kyoto in 2 hours. Temple, drink beer, temple, drink beer…repeat. The beer is an absolute necessity as all temples in Kyoto are on top of mountains, and in 35 degree heat, it was the only carrot getting this old donkey up the hill. Shogun temples, Shinto temples, Buddhist temples. We have been blessed by them all.
Oski took us to a couple of izakaya food joints, where we now have official membership cards. So if we ever feel the need to listen to loud music, inhale cigarette smoke (smoking is permitted in all eating and drinking establishments in Japan, but banned on the street…go figure!?), gamble at our table, or eat staggering amounts of fried food – we can return as honoured guests.
Oski is also appalled at his mother’s lack of Japanese language skills, lack of protocol knowledge and inability to embrace the disturbing foods I am presented with daily. A quails egg shoved in a baby octopuses head is not passing these lips honey! Tony on the other hand is almost fluent and hasn’t stopped eating since we got here. He tries anything and everything and is happily adopting the Buddha/sumo look.
This place is paradise really. Not quite sure how we blundered our way down here on bullet train, two local trains, a ferry and the island bus, with not much more than a wing and a prayer (luckily we had paid in advance) and some serious miming skills. We sit here in fear of the fact that we also have to get ourselves out of here.
Not today’s problem though. Today is typhoon day. Yes folks with an impressive sea front cottage and sea front yurt tomorrow night we are quite literally sitting staring at the typhoon that just hit the Phillipines. Still, it’s free, and in Japan that is always a bonus.
This place is full of artworks, both inside the 3 main galleries and scattered around the island. The art itself is very alternative and we have had lots of laughs at Tony ramming his feet into too small slippers to stand in rooms full of stones, blank concrete rooms and rooms with nothing but empty frames in them. He finally called it quits on all art today after suffering a $40.00 entrance fee to look at grass growing. “I can look at my own bloody grass growing for free.” And so endth the art tours.
So here’s the stats…
127.5 million people, 6,000 islands, 13.3 million people in Tokyo alone.
We arrived peak hour in Tokyo (yes, where people are employed to push you onto an already packed train) and by 7.00pm had negotiated Narita Airport, Japan Rail, Shinjuku Station (a city itself) and the local metro…legends! All made relatively stress free by the constant flow of bubbles and an encouraging neighbour on the flight over and our AirBnB host’s 16 pages of navigation instructions.
We met Oski the next morning and headed to the first of many temples, Sensō-ji in the beautiful Asakusa area. You pray, you pay in Japan, starting with the entry fee, next the insense, the blessings, the wishes, the prayers, the happy life and traffic safety charms, another blessing because my first one was shit and I had to tie it to a post and leave it behind. Then there is the exit through the gift shop followed by streets and streets of trinket sellers. 2 hours later, a lot lighter on the pocket but feeling very well blessed, stinking of insense, back on the metro, carrying bags of shiney things that evidently we need. Happy days!
Completely fascinated with all the plastic food displays in the windows, accurately showing the exact contents of your meal. Favourite food concept so far is salad in a mason jar, second favourite puffer fish gills for flavouring your tea, third is vending machines (quite literally every corner) this genuinely takes all the pressure out of ever having to get in the kitchen. Just pop your coins in and presto, an evening meal for two. I’ve cooked every night since we’ve been away, Tony is a very lucky man!
One spectacular lunch at the tsutsuji fish market consisted of red tuna, fatty tuna, fish roe, sea urchin, eel, scallops and squid all served raw, Tony is still licking his lips. I had a mango.
We are keeping a low profile today, as Wayne was last seen surrounded by a bunch of wallaby supporters…..and not since!
It is morning now, and we are somewhat hungover after an all-nighter in Caxton Street. We’re remotely concerned for his safety but ultimately the first world problem this morning is…where to for lunch?
BMI: Love handles
Liane’s Anxiety: Numb
Tony’s frustration: Numb
Shopping: Not possible
Now completely deaf on our right hand side from the LOUD and opinionated Dingo sitting behind us. Occupying two seats to fit his ample arse, he was full of advice for the match fit athletes and the ref. The woman next to us opined that he should pop onto the field for a wee go himself…brilliant suggestion!!
I turned around at full time to express sincerest condolences – but there was just Dingo dust left on his seats. Go the All Blacks! Great game, great venue, great company.
Mood: Still relaxed
Liane’s anxiety: Anaesthetised for lack of love of large crowds
Tony’s frustration: EXTREME due to Roy being on ‘Reg time’ on match day (seated within minutes of Haka, wouldn’t have happened on your watch Mr Leonard)
Shopping: Very successful due to banker’s lack of focus on match day
Alcohol intake: plentiful but measured
I’m sorry madam, but you cannot order alcohol before 10.00am. It is a Queensland State rule. How about a coffee instead?
How about a coffee instead!!!! ??
Well that just flat lined the champagne breakfast concept. That frustration is going to need shopping off.
Liane’s anxiety: through the roof
Tony’s care factor: zero
Alcohol intake: also zero
Shopping: 5 solid hours
Tan: still transparent
BDI: Slim and match fit from shopping
Note to self: chin up even higher
Well technically it’s 9 days and we’re not in Surfers, but that would be spoiling the story. We had considered 9 nudies at noon, but that would be inappropriate for children and pensioners and seeing as that is the majority of our audience …we refrain.
So here are the stats….
Location: Our balcony at the Meriton Broadbeach
Liane’s anxiety: Low
Tony’s frustration: Low
Body Mass Index: skinny
Note to Self: Lift chin