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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today, we did alot of travelling. We went to the Tojibo Sea Cliff. The locals really loved it. But, to us Australians, its was abit ..... Meh! And, wherever there is tourists, there is shops. But, to end the day, we went to the Higashi-Chaya Tea House District, which was just gorgeous! You will notice quite a few photographs of that area! And then we went to the hotel. Our itinerary never coincided with the local congregation meetings, so we never got to a meeting in the 10 days (we HAD meeting in the hotel - that is coming up soon). So, as we were travelling to the city (Kyoto and Kanazawa), the local brothers were called and they met up with us at the hotel. It was so nice! So, enjoy this day in Japan!

Things to look out for;

  • One of the sisters that we met from Kyoto. She was one that we went to the show with the night before and they came to meet us again the next morning to wave goodbye to us. It was so moving!
  • To make us forget that we were driving for hours, we did Karaoke IN THE BUS! I reluctantly shared in this activity. So did Kylie! They had a very limited selection of Engrish songs. But, there were THOUSANDS of Japanese songs. A funny thing happened when the tour guide (not a JW) played 'Happy Birthday To You!' - she couldnt understand why nobody wanted to sing and everyone was saying 'NEXT!'
  • There is one photo in the group of photos of the tea house district that I just loved! In real life, the timber shimmered like it was gold. We werent able to capture it in photos, but I made a few versions of the same photo to try to explain how beautiful it looked!
  • There were quite a few restaurants in Japan where you cook your own food. It was a mini BBQ in each table. It was quite an experience!
  • At the same restaurant, there were a large variety of desserts. There was one that was a gluggy type that was described as resembling a breast implant (thats what it looked like).
  • Again, a single bed.
  • Some of the local brothers from Kanazawa. The young brother in the photo had these small plaques and he was writing in Japanese characters our favourite aspect of the fruit (is that the correct terminology we use now?) Instead of that, I got him to write out my favourite scripture which is Malachi 3:10,11.
I have some really exciting days coming up, so watch out for them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hopefully, you arent getting sick of these photos. We are up to DAY 4 now, and this was an eventful day. We visited the Hotsu River (we went on the Rickshaw Ride here), visited a Gold Temple (Kiyomizu Temple) and Heian Shrine (the orange one) and then we went to the Gion Geisha District. Before your eyebrows are raised, it was explained to us that Geisha are not prostitutes, but rather entertainers (though this is still uncertain.) That night, we went to a shown in Gion which was had some Geisha in it (as you will see in photos).

Some things to look out for (sorry they are not in order - I had to reorder the photos so that they were in chronological order);
  • Belinda is eating GREEN TEA ice cream - i know it sounds terrible but I LOVED IT!
  • We didnt know why the man was standing out the front of the orange temple and why he held a knife to my neck. But, at least Kylie took a photo of it! I guess - only in Japan????
  • We spent most of the time with Belinda & Emmanuel and David & Bronwyn (see the group photo with six people)
  • Lawsons is a convenience store across the road from our hotel - it has EVERYTHING (and really cheap). There was even a heated section in the fridge so you could get a can of coffee ..... HOT! I guess, only in Japan can you get something hot from the fridge.
  • After a long day touring, what better way to relax and unwind by going to one of the many electronics stores and trialling the massage chairs ..... FOR FREE!
  • The large group shot - that was the group that went to see the Geisha show. This is the show we went to see. There is one photo with men dressed in black with a puppet. That was really interesting.
Until the next installment...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I know - it seems SOOOO long ago that we were away. But, we had such a blast and I want to share it with you (in case anyone is still looking at this blog.)

Some things to look out for;

  • First few shots are from our hotel room (see last blog).
  • Osaka Castle Park - we didnt go outside, but it was SPECTACULAR to look at. I went a bit crazy with the colours of this place. It was such a MASSIVE place.
  • I cant remember the name of the bridge (can any of our readers help?) but it is a replica of the SanFran Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Some cool guys from our bus - John and Lauren from Frankston and Wayne and Ilona from .... somewhere in Melbourne.
  • We went to a Sake Brewing factory. Its nice - locals dont seem to like it much, but I didnt mind it. Its nicer served warm.
  • Went to Chintatown (does every city have one of these?) and a shopping district. Met a local brother. There was all of these exclusive shops specifically designed for tourists. We asked someone where the nearest 100Yen shop was and we walked about 10 minutes to get there. Then we had to RUN to get back to the bus (we were late, but we werent the last ones to arrive back.)
  • Arrive in Kyoto. Went to the top of the tower and that was AMAZING! Cities in Japan seem to go ON and ON!
  • Kobe Earthquake site - the city has been rebuilt, but there is part that has been left as a monument.
I have just completed editing photos from a Tea House district and without sounding like a braggart - those photos are GREAT! Look out for those in coming days!

Miss You All!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hi Everyone!

We have some work going on at the Kingdom Hall, so I have been a bit preoccupied. BUT, I have gotten to editing our photos up to Day 3 of Japan. And, here are the selection of DAY 1 - Japan.

Now, Day 1 of Japan was not that extensive. You see, most of it was spent in Korea! We left about lunch time and then flew into Osaka. There were aboout 100 on our Japan tour and most stayed in for the night. But, one bus went into Osaka and saw a real city! The girls looked like cartoon characters - it was quite a sight! Im pretty sure that the tour guides took us to a red light district. Anyway, here is a brief summary of where we went in Osaka!

Some things to look out for;
  • Girl in the red top is Laura (from Brisbane) and the girl in the Cyan top is Shorna (also, from Brisbane). One of the photos of Shorna is in the 100 Yen shop (equivalent to $2 but EVERYTHING in the shop is 100Yen - it as SOOOOOO cool!).
  • One of the shots shows a little Japanese lady in the front of a building - we stopped that lady to ask where we could get some Okomiyaki (Japanese traditional savoury pancake). Instead of telling us where we could get that, she took us to a Sashimi restaurant and PAID FOR ALL SIX OF US!
  • At the front of every restaurant was a little display of what food is served in that particular place - the display is ALL PLASTIC! It was so cool!
  • There is a shot of Kylie and I in our dressing gowns. Every hotel in Japan had cotton Yukata to wear (in additon to the bath robes.) These are used as pyjamas.
  • The last few shots in the album show the COOL hotel we were staying in! As you will see in some upcoming days, most of the rooms we stayed in Japan had SINGLE beds (I forgot how sound my sleep used to be! lol!) Anyway, there was bit of a mix-up at this hotel and we were actually given SEPARATE ROOMS! On SEPARATE FLOORS! So, Kylie, having worked in the hotel industry in the past immediately looked at which floors the rooms were on. We took the higher level (I think it was the 23 floor) and as it turned out, that was on the EXECUTIVE LEVEL! The room was REALLY nice! I tried to make myself a coffee in that room using coffee and a plunger I bought from Australia. I grabbed what I thought was a sugar sachet and put it in. Turns out, it was instant Miso Soup. Not the greatest taste sensation!


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