6 views of Fuji san

We took a weekend trip up to Mt Fuji as it was very clear skies - it's more so in winter rather than summer season.

Fuji peeping over into Lake Shoji
Lake Motosu great Red Peak
You never feel like your camera gear is too big in Japan. Here Mt Fuji is stalked by the paparazzi but they all flee quickly after the sun sets, missing the beautiful twilight

Twilight at Lake Motosu

Yacht on the still waters of Lake Yamaguchi by sunrise

Canoes by Lake Yamaguchi

Swans of Lake Yamanaka

Sumo January Tournament

This's now the second tournament we've attended and this time Caleb was alot more interested and even started to copy their leg lifting and body slapping ceremony!
It is very useful to have the English commentary radio and hear about the history between each pair of fighters that meets. During a tournament they battle for 15days straight, each day the bouts start at 10am and finish at 6pm, so in many ways it is a long drawn out event. Although on one day each fighter will only have one fight and that is a once only attempt to force their opponent to touch the ground (with any other part of their body other than their feet) or to step outside the rope ring. Generally it is over in 10 seconds!

Autumn gone - but not forgotten

During autumn I was planning on changing the colours and theme of this site with the seasons but somehow time has escaped me (now it is past and plum blossom season has almost started)! However, the colours were amazing and are worth revisiting...
Contrasting red against blue sky and lakeContrasting red against blue sky and lake The path leading to the bridgeThe path leading to the bridge

The Japanese pay a great deal of attention to the seasons and it is popular just to go out "viewing". Indeed the maple season rivals that of the cherry blossoms, although all through the year there are so many different flowers and colours that if you're attentive there is some beautiful nature to see at almost anytime.

EmergingEmerging Full to lateFull to late

Like the "hanami" (flower viewing during cherry blossom season) the autumn colours do not come all at once. In any one park there may be leaves still green whilst others are bright shades of red and yellow. In general the maple leaves turn at a later time than other deciduous trees.
Stepping stonesStepping stones Brilliant illumination from behindBrilliant illumination from behind

Tsukiji reversing month-old ban on tourists

"The world's largest fish market is reversing a month-old ban on tourists at its riotous early-morning auctions."
"Some tourists had been caught hugging, licking and even riding the huge frozen tuna that are Tsukiji's most arresting sight, an official said."
- no it wasn't Caleb!
"He said tourists will be allowed to visit all areas of the market from 0500 to 0615 local time starting from 19 January."
sourced from BBC

If you are interested in the general flow of activies to get the catch of the day from sea to sushi shop at "Tokyo's Central Wholesale Market" in Tsukiji here is an interesting article...link to Metropolis feature article "Off the hook"

Tsukiji auction now closed to public!

Getting up at 4am to catch the first train at 4:28 from Toyoda station was quite a strain. Some of Simon’s uni colleagues joining us, decided it would be easier to stay up all night although the 1hour trip to downtown Tokyo took its toll with a few shut eyes. We arrived in time to see the tuna auctions in enormous sheds (separate fresh and frozen sections), and the hive of activity that surrounds this. I would say you have to see it for yourself, but it seems the morning we went was the last time it is open to public, so it was definitely worth the effort of an early morning rise! After the auctions we visited the tightly compacted markets which are perhaps more interesting with the incredible variety of seafood and to see the care with which the large fresh tuna are portioned up. Then for breakfast we ate sushi at the tiny nearby Daiwa Sushi, which is also quite a famous requiring us to wait in queue (for nearly an hour). Log on and click here to see more photos…

Back in Oct - Okutama retreat

It was great to have, the first weekend back, a retreat in the moutains which was a welcomed recoupe after our holidays! The passage for the weekend was "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesian 2:10.

Log on and click here to see more photos…

Autumn colours emergingAutumn colours emerging Weird rocksWeird rocks


Back in Sept - Give me a home among the gum trees....

Ah, I miss the gum trees and the smells of Australia....it reminds me of a song, are you already singing it? (if you not up on Australia folks songs and would like to join in the chorus see Song: Home Among the Gum Trees)
I hadn't been back to the farm in spring for 5 years so it was magnificent to see it in such a beautiful array of colours. Unfortunately what were bumper crops have frizzled with the lack of late rains leading to yet another "drought" year.

If you'd like to see more, I've compiled a thumbnail view of 40 photos although you'll need to be logged on to view them (see more Australia photos )

Back in Aug - Western Honshu Loop

For 15days at the start of August we travelled a loop around this western part of the main island. It was hot, humid and hectic! But great fun and Caleb was always keeping us amused. We started in Okayama and travel south/west skipping Miyajima, looping up to the north coast right up to Tottori before expressing down to see the fireworks at Miyajima and then stopping at Himeji on the way home. There were many highlights but instead of writting about them I've opted (lazy I know!) to let the pictures tell the story. I've compiled a thumbnail view of 56 photos, you'll need to be logged on to view them (see more Western Honshu photos )
Iwakuni: Kintai-kyo bridge at twilghtIwakuni: Kintai-kyo bridge at twilght Matsue: One of the few original castles remainingMatsue: One of the few original castles remaining Matsue: View over Shinji-ko (lake)Matsue: View over Shinji-ko (lake) Miyajima: Western Japans biggest fireworksMiyajima: Western Japans biggest fireworks

Back online

Finally the site is back up.

What happened, you ask? Well, as I can't decide on a hosting company to use yet, I was using/trying out a "free" post-2-host and they went belly up. Not too surprised! Still this site is not critical so I've found yet another free host in Australia this time. So we'll see how it goes.

Sorry to everyone that recently wrote comments or created an account (please make it again), I only did a backup before our holidays (1/8) so there was about a month whilst I was away that I didn't do any backups - I lost a big writeup and pictures that I posted on our trip around Western Honshu (Honshu is the main island of Japan) so if anyone happens (in a slim chance) to have the text still in an RSS feed .....?


Simons China trip

Simons trip to China.

Huang ShanHuang ShanLovers LocksLovers LocksZhongliu rice terracesZhongliu rice terracesAnd moreAnd moreLi River by GuilinLi River by GuilinOpera performerOpera performerGreat wall of ChinaGreat wall of ChinaTerracotta warriorsTerracotta warriors

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