Monday, May 25, 2015

hakone and the hakone open air museum

Hi Every-one,

it's Jillian here, back home again in Sydney. I flew back from Japan last Friday and I have so many images to share with you. Today's post is about Hakone, an area not far from Tokyo known for it's hot spring resorts and views of Mt. Fuji. While in Hakone I was able to spend one night at the Gora Tensui, a beautiful ryokan with exquisite kaiseki meals and my own hot tub

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The Hakone area was on alert due to increased volcanic activity.The Hakone rope-way was shut down which made getting to Lake Ashi a bit more difficult but otherwise it had little effect on Hakone. I found a bus to take me to Togendai where I caught a pirate ship (?) across Lake Ashi.

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It was a grey day and Mt. Fuji wasn't on display that day and I was warned she probably wouldn't appear.

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The following day dawned bright and clear so I decided to visit the Hakone Open Air Museum.

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It's a pretty special place with scenic vistas, beautiful gardens and of course, sculptures.

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It reminded me a little of Jupiter Artland but not so out there.

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As well as the beautiful gardens and sculptures, there's a special Picasso Pavilion and a foot bath for soaking weary feet.

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A few more images.

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After my visit to the museum, I caught the bus to Hakone Machi on Lake Ashi and there she was, Mt. Fuji in all her glory.

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From there I walked along the ancient Cedar Avenue.

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Which took me to the Onshi Hakone Park for more views of Mt. Fuji.

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I'll leave you with another view of Mt Fuji.

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I hope you enjoyed my Hakone images. 

See you all again soon with some more images from Japan.

Until then,


Monday, May 18, 2015


Have you heard of Nikko? It's a world heritage site a few hours train journey from Tokyo. I went there last weekend, catching local trains to get there so the journey took me close to 4 hours. It rained as well that day so I spent most of the day trudging through puddles. It didn't matter because it's such a magical place.

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The heritage site is a 30 minute uphill walk from the station or of course you can catch a bus, but the effort is so worth it.

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There are a number of temples, shrines and a beautiful pagoda on the site.

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There were 2 distinct colour themes at the site, either reds 

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or mossy greens.

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I put together a little collage of greens for you.

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This temple was a little further up the hill from the main site.

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I may have been too late for the cherry blossoms but I was in time for the azaleas.

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I also found some maples.

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How beautiful is this spot?

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The best part of the day? Coming across this shinto wedding procession.

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I hope you enjoyed my photos from Nikko. See you soon with some more photos from my travels,


Friday, May 15, 2015

tokyo - part II Tsujiki, Meiji Shrine and Asakusa

I began my second day in Tokyo with a visit to Tsujiki, home to the fish markets. I was still feeling pretty queasy but I wanted a sushi breakfast so over to the markets I strolled, about a 15 minute walk from the Park Hotel provided one heads in the correct direction. I didn't.

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Now this is a very old market and very busy and there are many strict rules one has to follow when visiting. Guys zoom around on little motorised carts and there is a traffic controller on site to prevent accidents. I found it all a bit scary.

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There are 2 parts to the market - the inner market which is closed to the general public until 9.00 a.m. and the outer market where kitchen equipment is sold as well as some fruit and vegetables. All the sushi shops are located in the outer market.

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It's all a bit Dickensian and there are plans
to move the markets.

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Did you know the market has it's own shrine?

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My reward. The freshest, tastiest sushi I've ever eaten and the nicest miso soup I've ever had.

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With my tummy filled with sushi I did a shopshoot at this lovely place.

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Then it was over to Harajuku to visit the famous Meiji shrine.

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The shrine is located in a lovely leafy green tranquil setting.

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The gates are absolutely huge.

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An impressive wall of sake containers.

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Some details I found.

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The shrine itself.

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The impressive roof line.

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The following day I travelled to Asakusa, another historic district of Tokyo. It was very touristy.

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Some details, all in red.

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Cute overload!

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The temple was enormous and crowded.

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I still managed to find a few quiet areas though. 

Well that's the last of my Tokyo photos for now as I  have still my Fog Linen shop-shoot to share with you. Next time I'll bring you some photos from my trip to Nikko.

So until then,


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

tokyo - part 1

Hi every-one, as promised I have some images to share from my time in Tokyo. I stayed at the Park Hotel near the Tsujiki Markets and Ginza and it was a lovely way to begin my trip to Japan.

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I arrived the last day of Golden Week, a series of 5 public holidays, so the streets were busy with holiday makers. During the weekend and holidays the roads are shut in Ginza and turned into a pedestrian thoroughfare.

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I spied this handsome chap (and yes I am talking about the dog) outside the Wako Department store.

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The middle image was the view from my room and the one on the right was taken from the hotel lobby. The one on the left was taken from the observatory at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) Building.

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The TMG has 2 towers. It's the imposing building you can see above and is next to the Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. As you can see it's a popular place for a lunch time nap!

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The hotel was one stop away from the Tokyo Railway Station and I seemed to be at the station on a daily basis. It's been newly renovated/rebuilt and it's a very impressive building so I took lots of photos.

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The railway station is in the Marunouchi district, which is quite lovely with tree lined streets, restaurants and very exclusive shops.

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It also features some impressive old buildings and is close to the Imperial Palace.

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Brightly coloured hanging baskets lined the streets.

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I found this pretty little garden area.

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It was part of the Marunouchi Brick Square Complex.

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Where I came across this wedding party. This art gallery is also part of the complex. It's a faithful reconstruction of the original Mitsubishi Building that was built in the 1800's but demolished in the 1960's.

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That pretty much covers my first day in Tokyo. On the second day I visited the Tsujiki markets; did a shop-shoot and visited some famous shrines. More photos to follow soon.

By for now,