Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bring on the Spring...

So, it's March the 1st! Apparently it's going to get warmer soon. Meanwhile, I'm keeping myself warm and fighting the war on boredom...

No, I swear I'm not going crazy here...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting for Umeshu...

So, last week, I headed to the Osaka Temmangu Shrine for the Umeshu (Plum Wine) festival. There was waiting involved, and then an extremely large assortment of wine to choose from.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could make it to the second tent, but I went back the next day, and the other tent had all sorts of other non-ume-based drinks - including mikan, ichigo, pineapple, lemon,  cherry, yoghurt, and even mushroom flavoured wines and spirits! Fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Return to Koyasan!

Well, it's been snowing in Kishigawa, but it hasn't been cold enough for the snow to stick. So, we decided to head up to Koyasan to see a bit more snow...

It was eerily quiet; there were areas in Okunoin where we were the only people in sight. Still, even for a third trip, Koyasan never ceases to enthral.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Three months left!

So, it's February 14th, which means only one thing - I have three months left in this country before I leave on the 14th of March.

Flights are booked, and setting a deadline has forced me to think carefully about how I spend my time. In addition to my previous post's list, I am also aware that living in Japan also provides other international travel opportunities that I wouldn't normally have. So, I've made the following plans.

1. Catch an international ferry. I'll be catching a ferry from Fukuoka across to Busan.
2. Visit Korea. I'll be visiting Korea in April, and attending Camp Swing It in Seoul.
3. Visit China. I'll spend a couple of days in Shanghai, and then head up to Beijing for the Great Wall Swing Out.
4. Stopover in Malaysia. Air Asia's flights are some of the cheapest between Australia and Japan, so long as you're prepared to take a little time travelling. And I've got heaps of it. So, I'll be stopping over for a day in KL - just enough time to head into town for some warmth, laksa and tau foo far, before heading Down Under.
5. Return to Australia. But I'm not heading straight back to Melbourne. No, I've booked my tickets to Queensland, to attend the Brisbane Lindy Exchange, and try to appreciate some warm weather before plunging from a Japanese winter to a Melbourne winter.

The three month deadline has also meant that it's soon time to seriously start applying for jobs again. I still feel like I've got enough time to be fussy, but I now have a keen eye for my next dream job to come my way...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Before I leave...

So, now that it's confirmed that I'm leaving, it's time to make a list. A list of things that I want to do in Japan before I leave. In no particular order.

1. Ride on the Shinkansen.
2. Visit Hiroshima and Miyajima.
3. Go to Nagano to see snow and Japanese Macaques.
4. Visit temples in plum and cherry blossom season.
5. Go to Taiji, visit the whale museum, and rescue dolphins avoid being mistaken for an activist.

6. Go to Tokyo, have my obligatory photo taken at Shibuya crossing, and go visit Harajuku, Akihabara and Tsukiji Fish Market.
7. Spend a day at Universal Studios Japan.
8. See Mount Fuji (unfortunately, I won't be around for climbing season.)
9. Watch a Takarazuka Revue show.
10. Go to a Sumo Tournament.

Anything else that I should add to the list that I possibly haven't done yet?