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Showing posts from 2017

Travel in 2017

Looking back across 2017 I'm surprised by how much travel I actually did. January: Singapore and Japan If I was to single out one word for my trips this year it would be snow . Though I've been to the snow before, this trip was the first time I'd really  experienced snow. We started with a week in the tropical heat of Singapore before flying to Osaka and travelling through snow covered Honshu and Sapporo. My highlight was a night in the inland Tohoku samurai town of Kakunodate before taking the local Akita Nairiku Jukan train north through the white countryside. More details March: Jurassic Park in Melbourne From three weeks overseas to a weekend in Melbourne as we drove down to attend a live concert of Jurassic Park with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. School and work meant we had to be back by Monday! More details April: Central Queensland Unable to make my sister's wedding in Rockhampton, whose airport was closed by flooding,

A quick Canberra escape

Our team held its end of year meeting and get together in Canberra this year. To save a bit of money and to ensure that I could make it back in time for Alex's tennis lesson back in Sydney I drove down. This was the first time I've driven such a long distance alone. On the Monday morning I regretted not flying, for the air was still and the skies perfectly clear. My colleague who flew down still said it was bumpy and the wind picked up later. My issue with driving down in the evening was that I couldn't take photos of the magnificent sunset. While in Canberra I stayed at the Pavilion Hotel, which still lacks much character. After the meetings we split into two groups and had some fun at the Expedition Escape Rooms, my first such experience. My inexperienced team failed, though I managed to solve a number of puzzles myself. I had to leave after lunch on the Wednesday in order to make it back for the tennis, which I did. Whilst the car was convenient, I did miss bein

The Compass Points of the Japanese Railway Network

Over the past fourteen years of travelling to Japan I have visited all four of the home islands and passed through all but two of the forty-seven prefectures. Yet it is never enough. I am somebody who likes to travel all the way to the end of the line, to explore as far as I can and see all that can be seen. I also love trains. So I set myself a challenge to travel to the farthest reaches of the Japanese railway network, to visit each of the compass points. Nishi-Oyama, the southernmost station on Japan's railway network. You can read the full account of my travels and view more photos and videos at  JRNEWSTour: A trip around the compass points of the Japanese railway network . What follows here is a brief summary of two weeks on the rails. The journey started with a Friday night alone at the rather uncomfortable Ibis Basic hotel at Sydney Airport. Early the next morning I caught a Jetstar flight up to Cairns Airport and then onwards to Kansai International Airport outsi