Monday, January 28, 2008


The train ride on the amazing world class setting Shinkansen was superb. The Japanese really know how to make long distance train travel a pleasure. The ceremony of the country has not been lost on me. As a train pulls up to stop, the cleaning crew at at attention spaced evenly along the platform and facing its arrival with military precision.

Our seats are spacious and very comfortable. The 300 kph speeds are breathtaking in its smoothness and ease. Inside the cabin all is silent and serene. Outside mountain ranges pass and snow covered rural villages and fields welcome us to Kyoto.

Arrival at Kyoto brings us into the chill. Its Edinburgh winter cold. Luckily our welcoming Ryokan, traditional inn is warm and the staf super friendly. Its shoes off at the front step and slippers on before being gently ushered through clean rice paper walls to the tatami matted square room. The minimalism and simplicity of the design is calming and bright, it is the world of quiet rest and very homely.

It is dark soon and we head out to make to most of the winter twilight, heading into town. The Temples can wait for us.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Met up with Nick and we were off exploring Ginza by night. Its very clean, stylish and chic. Wide open boulevards entice the shopper with clean bright shopfronts. Dinner is downstairs in a hidden basement restaurant. Classically Japanese and delicious.

The next morning is spent in enjoying a real sleep in, followed by some wondering the streets of Shinjuku. The Tokyo metro is easy to use, clean and efficient! We enjoy the wonders of the classy food halls, the areas brimming with amazing selections of the best of gourmet delights. The presentation is immaculate, displaying care, precision and delicacy only the Japanese seem to do!

Friday, January 25, 2008


Just arrived in Tokyo. I'm in Japan for a 5 day visit to Japan. The plan is see a wee bit of Tokyo, then Kyoto.

Its real winter here and the air is clean and crisp. The sound of slurping of soba from the flight lunch still ringing in my ears. The temperature around 5C but it reminds me straight away of winter in London. Narita airport caters so well for the traveller. The service is amazing. The bus ride into town is mainly on the expressway, but here you still see some farming fields, the neatness of the roads and buildings and of the interiors of Tokyo cars and trucks. Not to mention the 50 toll booths one has to pass by!

Smoking seems big here, with nearly every car I passed the driver was either puffing away or looking for his smokes. The cars all seemed neat and tidy, alot of pride in ownership it seems, and every cabin full of character.

I pass suburban JR trains with commuters on their way into town, and as the sun glows red dropping out of the clear blue sky the twilight is mesmirising in its calmness. The foreground juxtaposingly industrial with train cables and plain white low level buildings, in the far distance I see a mountain...Mt Fuji I guess?

I pass modern Tokyo, the station and new city corporate blocks, bright lights highlighting them against the now black sky. I pass the Imperial Palace and gaze into the darkness, look forward to seeing it in daylight. What surprises me so far is the amount of waterways and canals in the city.

The hotel is fancy and grand, the porters sprint towards me to help with my stinky backpack. I am definately not used to this! The room is plush and modern, with a gigantic TV. Sumo wrestling and Japanese game shows make up the couple of hours I take to relax and have a cup of Japanese tea. The electronic toilet is new to me - though I dare touch it get lest I do some irreversible damage to self!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


View from Marsh's new digs in Sheung Wan, 47 Floors up.

Tram Stop, Sheung Wan

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another Visitor!

Sonia enjoying wonton noodles

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hk, some pics.

Taxi in Causeway Bay


In a long line of faux Italian named clothing stores. Not Giordano, Not Armani, but Giormani!

Causeway Bay Shopper

Family Reunion

Its been a while since all the Grandkids have gotten together - In fact I can't remember another time!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve was a funny one this year, for one I was not in Sydney.

Here in chilly 10C Hong Kong it was a working day as normal.

The previous night was horrid as I had had a huge thumping headache. Solution? 2 Panadol before bed.


In Hong Kong the Panadol all seems to include Caffeine as an active ingredient. I suppose this make most sense as people want to keep working at their desks through the pain.

I was dog tired, yet my mind was racing, I was unable to sleep until about 4am!!!

The family had organised a wonderful buffet dinner in town, so I was able to experience the hussle and bustle of NYE in Hong Kong! Crowds upon crowds of excited people rugged up in dark winter clothing making their way to see fireworks and enjoy the waves of humanity out enjoying life and celebrating being in Hong Kong. Wonderful.
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