Blogs from Shizuoka, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji March 21st 2014

We started our Japan adventure with perhaps one of the most iconic images – Mt Fuji. And possibly one of the coldest places we could find! We landed late afternoon at Narita Airport and stayed the first night in an airport hotel. It was average. Large room (meant to be a triple but had two doubles and a single, plus a cot for Katrina), hot shower, double glazing and blackout curtains. But worn. We took their free shuttle back to the airport and joined the long queue to swap our Japan Rail (JR) Pass voucher for our pass. We were glad the kids woke early and we went back to the airport earlier than we'd planned! We took the new N'EX train into Shinjuku station, one of Tokyo's transit hubs. As with all the trains we'll ... read more
The forest around the cave
The tribe and the mountain
Our first train ride here

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji January 1st 2014

Happy new year everyone. Hope you had a splendid time and have a wonderful 2014. We had sake this morning as we were leaving the hotel. Very civilised, albeit at 7.20am! We had a wonderful New Year's Eve walking around Kyoto. new year is a big deal for the Japanese and they go wild buying very special and expensive food for sharing on New Year's Day. So we joined in the general melee in a department store food centre. I now understand what the term food porn means. There were so many dazzling and unusual things to buy. Cost an arm and a leg mind you. I put up a few photos. Peter, on the other hand sat in the foyer with the other old people. On New Year's Eve Japanese politeness is abandoned in their ... read more
Outside a Casino
At the Cat Cafe
Cute cat house

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji January 1st 2014

Hi everyone The crowning glory of Wednesday was to go to the public bathhouse in the hotel. I wasn't going to go but thought what the heck. there are separate men's and women's baths so it wasn't too confronting. So basically you take off your clothes and sit on a little stool and have a nice hot shower. Then you step into a really hot swimming pool about the size of our bedroom . The water is piped in from the hot springs of Mt Fuji. It was really hot so about 5 minutes was all I could take. The presence and impact of Mt Fuji is huge. Everywhere we went, we saw new aspects of the mountain. she seemed to appear everywhere. Luckily because the weather is so clear that we have spectacular views. In ... read more
Fuji from our hotel window
View of Fuji from my side of the bed
Public bath in the hotel

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji August 13th 2013

Summer camp was finally over and I was all packed up and ready for my trip to Japan. Anthony and I were heading over together for a couple days of exploring Tokyo and Mt. Fuji, then I was staying with a family in Fujisawa (about an hour south of Tokyo), and then finally off to Kyoto for a couple days. We first landed in Tokyo and figured out the subway system pretty easily. Same as Seoul's but a lot bigger with a lot of lines! We arrived at Kinshicho where we were staying in a Capsule hotel. A capsule hotel is basically a hostel that has a spaceship looking bed that you call your own and sleep in at night. It was made for Tokyo business people who would miss the late night trains and just ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji August 13th 2013

Another Shinkansen train ride! No matter how many times we ride it, I am excited each time. Today was our last ride on this trip - I hope I get to ride it again someday. Anyhoo, we blasted out of Osaka and headed to Mount Fuji. It was about two and a half hours by train where we transferred to a bus headed to the Fifth Level of Mount Fuji. It was in a more rural area and once you got into hills the scenery was incredible. All sorts of little waterfalls and rivers and everything was green. The best thing about Mount Fuji (or, as the locals call it, Fujisan), was that it was cooler in temperature. At the Fifth Level there is a bunch of shops and lodges and shrines to check out. You ... read more
Shinto Shrine
Top of mountain after tram ride
Dinner at traditional hotel

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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji July 20th 2013

Day 4 & 5 – Mt. Fuji The next morning I packed up, checked out and made my way to Tokyo train station to catch a train to Shin-Fuji. The train was a Shinetsu (bullet train) and the ride took about 1 ½ hours. The train was the cleanest and the fastest I had ever been on (my reference point was Thailand, Indonesia, China and India). Most of the tickets are sold through machines, but even though there is English, it was difficult to manage to figure out how to figure anything out. A lady helped me buy the ticket which cost about 6500 yen. The train ride was smooth and uneventful. It passed through many districts but it was cloudy so didn’t really see anything interesting. Mt. Fuji was not visible. I arrived in Shin-Fuji, ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Shizuoka February 10th 2013

Saturday 09/02/2013 All the MEK staff crawled and clawed their way to this weekend. Still buzzing from all the work drama and politics, I couldn’t sleep last night. I even started a new jigsaw. But the difference was, this morning I could have a sleep-in to make up for it. I guess I need to go back to last Sunday where I went to baby Mikio’s first birthday. I’m not sure he knew what was going on, but he sure was enjoying all the food and all the attention. High 5-ing (known as ‘high-touch!’ here) soon became a favourite. We also wore animal hats, Mikio sporting the cutest monkey face, me a green frog! Out came the birthday cake, an Australian ute, the tray filled with strawberries! Mikio demolished the strawberries while the ladies took to ... read more
Digging through the craft boxes
Ripping paper!
The orange tissue paper was a big hit

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Shizuoka February 3rd 2013

Sunday 03/02/2013 I’m still getting used to typing ‘2013’ instead of ‘2012’. It seems that my fingers disobey my mind. I say 2013, but still they type 2012. And my gosh, it’s already February! But, this short story begins in late January, when on Monday the Pandas had Parents’ Day. This time was a little different, as there would only be half the parents on Monday, and half on Tuesday. This is an excellent idea, except that nobody had thought of where the other half of the children would go when I was teaching the first half. Anyway, that got sorted out in a hectic rush. Panda A Group had just nine students, and one was absent. So eight Pandas and eight Parents made for a very spacious classroom! We made our little love bugs, (butterflies ... read more
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Craft preparation
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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Atami December 1st 2012

Day 12 The morning began with an even earlier wake up call than the day before, as the guide had got nervous about the queue for breakfast the day before - 6am was a little extreme. Our first visit of the day was to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, whose gates featured in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". The torii gates that we had seen earlier in the trip, were impressive for their size, whilst here it was the sheer number. At one point there are two tunnels of gates, all of which have been donated by companies hoping for luck in their business. The gates continue for about 4km and there are more than 10,000 of them, which are wooden and replaced every 10 years. It was certainly one of the best sights we had ... read more
Fushimi-Inari temple
Shrines of mini gates each given by an individual
The shrine is dedicated to the fox

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji December 1st 2012

Kawaguchiko : One of the five Fuji's lake Youtube chennel : Mountain the highest mountain in Japan surround with 5 lake. Kawaguchiko is the big one. It's the front gate to Fuji Unfortunately, when I came this the sky was cloundy and rainning. I can not see the Mt. Fuji but the lake so beautiful, I hope you like it too. ... read more




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