Brett Crosby


Brett Crosby

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama July 6th 2018

There are days that you look back on and wonder how things turned out the way that they did. Today was one of those days. We began with a simple plan - catch the train to Toyama, transfer to the fast train to Tokyo, catch the plane home and we're done. The plan was so simple we decided to go for a wander to the market to see if there was anything we couldn't live without. Turns out there were some shops that we hadn't visited yet and some things that we absolutely needed to get before coming home again so it was a productive trip. From there is was back to the Ryoken to finish packing and a quick taxi to the train station and everything is going according to plan. It was at this ... read more

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Shirakawa-go July 5th 2018

The room here is beautiful with rice paper walls however, rice paper does not make for a very good curtain and the sun comes up around 4:15 here. After pulling the window shades closed and removing every possible entry point for light, Brett tried to get some more sleep without much luck. Despite having reasonably good sleep for most of the trip, we have been getting up very early every day and we can't even blame the time zone difference as were only 30 minutes different to normal. We were booked in to do a trip to Shirakawa-go which is an UNESCO-listed village with 300-hundred-year old, thatched-roof houses with only 140-odd people living there. After a quick walk through the morning market, we wandered to the bus stop and took the hour-long trip to the first ... read more

Asia July 4th 2018

July 4th Another travel day today. We had to get from Hiroshima to Takayama for our final destination before flying home on Friday. We were planning to catch the 11:54 train and knew there would be a couple of transfers on the way. Again, we were up early and we wandered off to the memorial at peace park, which was closed last night when we walked past. It was fascinating to see what had happened to the city and the people after the bombing. The devastation was utter but the people were determined to rebuild their lives there and it is a thriving city today. A testament to their spirit I think. I didn't dwell on it, but I did wonder what the radiation levels were in the area today. Most of the museum was closed ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima July 3rd 2018

Woke very early this morning. We have a train to catch to Hiroshima and wanted to get away early. Alarm was set for 6:00 but we were both up before the alarm went off to finish packing bags before heading down to breakfast. We chose the Japanese breakfast this morning. It was a beautiful selection of tasty morsels of fish, rice, chicken, miso soup and some fruit to finish with. Portions were sensible and it was an excellent start to the day. Because we were up so early we were able to transfer to an earlier train once we were at the station. Again, our timing with catching trains and busses has been amazing. We arrived at the station around 7:45, swapped our tickets, and were pulling out of the station at 8:00 bound for Hiroshima. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima July 2nd 2018

Brett woke this morning feeling very poorly. Some type of alien man-flu, only clearly much worse. However, being the samurai that he now is (given he has a knife) he soldiered on so the holiday could continue as planned. After a quick breakfast, we caught a taxi to nishiki market. A large under-cover area much like the central market in Adelaide only with octopus ice blocks and some other weird things that I'm not sure what they actually were. We will examine the photos under the microscope when we get home with the aid of a forensic expert to see if we can work out what we were looking at. As always, despite the weirdness of some things, everything was beautifully presented and looked so good. We dawdled through the market for a while before coming ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto July 1st 2018

Wow. Worst night's sleep in, like, forever. Don't know why but I tossed and turned all night. I think I was too hot, then too something, then too whatever. Today is the day of my knife-making course so not the day to be foggy and clumsy. After breakfast, Pamela wandered off to her conference for the day leaving me to find my way to the forge in the countryside. I caught the train to kameoka and the went to catch the bus to nishikaya only to find that the bus schedule that I had been looking at was incorrect. I was under the impression that there were regular busses to where I wanted to go however I was told at the information counter that the only bus was not leaving until after 1:00 pm - my ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto June 30th 2018

Today was a travel day as we headed from Osaka to Kyoto for the next leg of our tour. We wanted an early start So were up early, packed, breakfast and on to train station. We activated our JR Rail Pass so we now have all of Japan at our fingertips. While we were there we booked our seats on the osaka/Kyoto leg for today and also for the Kyoto/Hiroshima leg on Tuesday morning. Apparently the trains can get quite full so better to be prepared ahead of time. We caught a fast train to Kyoto and then the shuttle bus to the hotel. We arrived prior to check in but they were able to get our room cleaned and ready a couple of hours early,which meant that we could drop our bags off before heading ... read more

Asia » Japan » Nara » Nara June 29th 2018

We got up early this morning and managed to get down early to have a nice breakfast again. It meant we could get to the station and get on our way to NARA Which was our destination for the day. We found the ticket station easily and found the right platform but still managed to catch the wrong train. Luckily it was a local train that stopped at a station that connected with the right train. A quick dash and we basically caught the same train that we should have so all good. Arrived at Nara and bought a local loop pass for the bus so we could get around easily. Arrived at the first stop and there were deer wandering around everywhere. It was quite amazing to see them all and how comfortable they were ... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka June 28th 2018

i think the last time I felt this tired was when Emily was born and I'd spent two nights sleeping in a bath. I wasn't sure how we were going to get up this morning but, fortunately, routine kicked in and we woke around 8:45. That gave us enough time to shower quickly and make it down for breakfast. I have to say, while the marketing people had used every photographic trick in the book to get the rooms to look a decent size, they were spot on when it came to the food. They promised best buffet in Osaka and they delivered. An excellent selection of Asian and western food all cooked to perfection and presented excellently. A great start to the day. We headed out very soon after eating and went down into the ... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka June 28th 2018

I've had some pretty interesting trips before, like the time I had to jump start a helicopter just prior to going up in said helicopter - which made for some interesting thought processes however, I digress. Frankly, there is no better argument for the existence of God than Him absolutely toying with your flight plans in a way that can only be explained by divine intervention. The plan was to catch a daytime flight to Japan so we could arrive early, settle in and get our bearings. All good in theory! First there was the late arrival of the connecting flight. Not by much, a 45 minute delay. this actually gave us a little extra time to make it from the domestic terminal to the international terminal so it appeared to be a blessing in disguise ... read more

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