Fuji fall photos

Merry festive season everyone. I hope you are taking the time to enjoy the small things. Back in Australia I have been surrounded by love and the things I love. Including fruit pudding and brandy custard the traditional Dot Williams way. Friends have gotten married, family are getting married, there has been time in the pool and down the beach, games of cricket and tiggy, summer storms, wide open spaces, road trips, books, quiet time after lunch and a nana nap or two.

I was also enjoying going though some old photos of a fall trip to Fuji with a good friend. Its a beautiful place, especially with the golden leaves, ultra blue skies and blazing snowy white mountain Fuji towering over all. The beauty of Fuji distills a kind of peace over this place. Never mind the cold.

Please note that a lot of these photos were taken by the lovely Silje.

The joys of BBQ is universal

I used to have an apparently naive opinion the BBQ was an Australian tradition, or at least part of our cultural identity. Pretty silly really when you consider the real origin of BBQ… Cave man. It will never be proven but right after cave man discovered fire I reckon he discovered the joys of BBQ.

Therefore it is no wonder that the joys of BBQ seem universal. Almost everybody (vegetarians probably don’t) enjoys a BBQ. Semi-smoked, half-raw, charcoal-tinged meat is in our origins. The Japanese certainly enjoy a BBQ as much as Australians and I was lucky enough to get an invite to one just last week.

The whole roast chicken with vegies in the dutch oven was my favourite.

Golden Week Photos

The Japanese are smart. They stick almost all their public holidays into just two separate weeks of the year so you get a decent break. They call it Golden week and silver week. Unfortunately, some 100 million (no joke) other people are on holiday too and not much is open because the shop keepers are, yep – you guessed it, on holiday.

Still, despite a nasty deadline and some even nastier weather I managed to get away for a train ride around the Boso peninsular (Chiba), take a burn on the bike through the traditional buildings of Kawagoe and on to the mountains to Chichibu where I checked out the flower festival, dressed up in traditional kit and took a very nice onsen (hot spring bath). On the way home I dodged a tornado (apparently), rode through a mountain (seriously) and avoided a few thunderstorms by sitting them out in ramen shops.

Enjoy the pics.

Hanami Festival

Hanami Festival was on the weekend and is celebrated by picnicking with friends under the cherry blossoms. I was lucky enough to be invited by Yamazaki-San from work to spend Sunday afternoon with a large and diverse group of his friends and friends-of-friends at Meijijingu Park. It seemed that there were about another 50,000 + people there picnicking with us

It was a great day out and I met some wonderful people. In particular they helped break the stereotype of Japanese I have been told about repetitively and have witnessed a lot so far. They were very talkative, reasonably opinionated, mostly spoke pretty good english and many had travelled. Especially to QLD it seemed for either uni or high-school.

The biggest upside to the day was the atmosphere of fun and excitement that pervaded the park. It was a very joyous occasion with lots of singing, dancing and music. The usually reserved facade gave way to a joyous jollyness and amusement. I’m sure the copious amounts of beer, shoyu and Sake may have had something to do with it. None of the public unrest that comes with such public drinking in Australia, UK and the US though.

Needless to say I had a blast!