A small selection of the weird, wonderful & tasty that only the Japanese would invent.

 Mmm, Hot Soba with whitebait & seaweed! The book – “Reimagining Japan” by McKinsey, an excellent collection of essays from those who should know on what the future of Japan should be and what is needed to get there. 
 Cabbages that look like flowers or flowers that look like pretty cabbages?
 Soba noodle making in action
 Soba noodle appetite building!
 Some places remind me so much of that cult classic – “Ghost in the Shell”.
 Earthquake while in Roppongi Hills Tower – Not – Just a zoom photo.
 Tokyo Tower from Roppongi Hills Tower
 Funghi Soba with Pork, beer and notes. How do they make it so tasty?!
Notice anything special here? 2WD bicycle!

Day 2 / 3 Tokyo Bike ride

Went back to Ofuna, fetched up the bike and set of for Kamakura. At teh outset, I intended to return the bike to Tokyo, then I realised – whats the rush? Japan has such a low crime rate, people leave their bicycles unlocked and all over the place – I could just head to another train station at the end of the day, park the bicycle and head home.

<p>&amp;lt;a href=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/61819388″&amp;gt;Day 2 of 3 Tokyo Ride&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;br/&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/?location=Kanagawa Prefecture”&amp;gt;Find more Cycling Routes / Bike Rides in Kanagawa Prefecture&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;</p>
Oh yeah, why don’t I just take the bike home on the train? Although Japan is a really bike friendly place did I mention your not allowed to take a bike on the train unless it is in a carrier or bag. Helps explain why there are so many foldable bicycles here.
 One of many temples in Kamakura
 The path to enlightenment?
 My temple!
Mt Fuji on the right
Was a wonderful day of cycling today, although the slightly hilly atmosphere killed the battery, which I had been conserving for a while. Plus, also worked out that the train tickets are costing me +$10 each way… Japan is a great place but oh so expensive! 

Day 1 / 3 Tokyo Bike ride

Headed out on Christmas day for a little bike ride on an electric assisted bicycle. Started a bit later than anticipated and whilst the target was Kamakura and the many temples in that area, I was so busy taking in the surrounds – the beautiful narrow streets, bicycle-ways, tiny 2 story houses that just seemed so Japanese for no reason I can describe, I never quite made it!

<p>&amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/61817050″&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Day 1 of 3 – Tokyo&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br/&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/?location=Tokyo”&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Find more Cycling Routes / Bike Rides in Tokyo&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;</p>
The fruit and vegetable markets, the huge factories, the triple layered motorways, the neatness in general. All of it very Japanese. On this beautiful Sunday it was eerie quiet as well, with many of the roads and sidewalks I went on deserted. Then you would go around a corner and the road would be flooded with people and I would have to walk the bicycle. It seems every popular road in Japan has at least 2 or 3 smaller roads directly behind it going in the same direction.
On the road
 A game of baseball on the river flats just before Kawasaki
The woman, the dog, a fag (if you look closely at her left hand!), moccasins, and the shopping.

 Many many streets like these in Tokyo
Top of the hill
 I never got to Kamaura on this day. Lack of direction was probably the reason! So parked the bike at Ofuna station bicycle parking station (cost me $10 for over-night bicycle parking!). Thinking I’ll return to pick it up tomorrow, ride to Kamkura and then back to Tokyo.   

Tokyo – Zen, Sustainablity

Arrived Tokyo last night. Very peaceful yet vibrant place. How do the Japanese manage to be relaxed, energetic and quiet? For now I’ll put it down to Zen. Here to meet with some of the rapidly growing PwC Japan Sustainability Services Team to talk about their recent success.

Tokyo Tower Park in Autumn Splendor
Did you know Zen is a form of buddhism that travelled to Japan and America from Nepal? Well that is according to Peter Maththiessen, famous explorer and author of such informative books as ‘The Snow Leopard’ which is a must read for those searching for work / life balance.

Did you also know that the “ka” used at the end of sentence in Japanese to denote a question is also used in Tetun, the national language of Timor-Leste, for the same purpose? Strange.

Japan has a unique role to play in International Development and Sustainability in general. It has large financial and technical capacity to assist developing companies and is the unenviable economic position of wanting to assist these undeveloped economies in order to support its own struggling system. There is hope that in the future the role Japan takes will have a strong sustainability focus, for the benefit of developing countries and Japan alike. I like what I see so far.

Autumn Garden at Tsurutaro Kataoka Tofu Restaurant

Great big read

I love reading
Stimulating the imagination or stimulating the mind
Theres nothing quite like
A good blog find.


Needs a decent Sunday afternoon to do it justice,  it is good for stimulating the mind, or trying to understand it, or to marvel at its complexities and nuances. It is a blog that does a much better and focused job of explaining philosophy and in particular the philosophy of the mind.

Recently, they even got onto Climate Change! Check it out.

The world is small (& round)

The world is small. When viewed in parts.

I’m in Bali again. Flight over gave a great view of the part of the world that is Atauro and Timor, Wetar and the Alor islands, and the rest of Nusa Tengara Timor – Flores, Komodo, Rincha, Sumabawa, Lombok and Bali. Got me a little nostalgic about the amazing kayaking trip I did with dad in 2002 through those islands and also made me realise how close all these islands are, including Timor. On a clear day you can see Alor from the beach in Dili. For sure you can see Alor from the hills south of Dili on the way to Ermera. Got me thinking that if I had my kayak I could kayak across to Atauro and even onto Alor or Wetar.

That got me thinking if I could do it, for sure the Timorese and Indonesians at one stage before they were Timorese and Indonesians had done it. Whats that Noam Chiomsky / Max Weinreich said about a dialect – it “is any variety of a language spoken by a specific community of people.  with an army and a navy.”

Then I had dinner on the beach in Bali and got talking to the mother of 2 little kids. Turns out she had grown up in Maroopna and had even gone to school in Cobram for a year or two when she was growing up. Now she lives in Bali (since Tuesday!).

The world is small. When viewed in parts. Can’t we all just get along?

PS. The last US troops pulled out of Iraq yesterday…

A lil present for Charlotte

It started as a simple map but got a bit cluttered when I added all the trips!
East and West Map yet to come! East Map includes the Maliana Hot Springs trip with dad. The trips are not actually in chronological order, just drawing order!
Trip 1 – To Turiscai and back in the rain. Read the blog post here.
Trip 2 – To Hatu-Builico (oops, wrong name on map!) at night. Climbed Ramalau. Read the blog post here.
Trip 3 – Haha, Whoops! isn’t there something about bad luck and 3’s? Great attention to detail Damian.
Trip 4 – The Energy Needs Assessment with Renato on the back of the bike. Read the blog post here.
Trip 5 & 6 – Two seperate trips to Liqudoe, one when it was red/yellow & dry and once when it was green!
Trip 7 – This weekends planned trip to Hatu-Builico and beyond. Going to be remote! Post soon.