Fox on the Run

Kyoto has been beautiful. The city is big, but manageable, the people have been lovely,and our house comfortable. But I will admit that we have become a little temple/shrine fatigued. I’m not sure if a survey has been done as to whether there are more churches in Rome, or more temples in Kyoto, but I…

Darkness and Light

I was apprehensive about visiting Hiroshima. I don’t like the thought of deliberately exposing myself, or the girls, to war, grief or death. But at the same time, staying hidden under a veil of happiness and comfort isn’t particularly realistic. Awful things happened to innocent people, and this would be a way to show our…

Eat hard. Play hard.

We’d heard that Osaka, just 20 minutes via shinkansen from our new home-base of Kyoto, had a very different vibe to its rival city of Tokyo; but from photos alone, it was hard to differentiate a street-scape of the two. But our stroll through the shopping areas today of Dotombori, Shinsaibashi and Amerikamura, with the…

Deer, oh deer.

Today we visited Japan’s first permanent capital, Nara. It’s home to a bunch of temples, museums and galleries, but the two main attractions are the Great Buddha (“Daibutsu”) and his hall; and the 1200 wild deer that roam the city’s main park. Their title of “National Treasure” allows them to ¬†wander through the streets (signs…

Ninjas and Pickles

We launched into today with such hope. After the temple-a-thon yesterday, we thought a kid-friendly change of pace was in order, and so decided to head to Toei Kyoto Studio Park, or as we’d been talking it up “Ninja Park”. Toei ¬†is a Japanese film and television production company, and they have a massive lot…

“Can I please have your autograph?”

Are autograph books still a thing? My precious book in the 80’s and 90’s had gelati-coloured pages with gold edges, and I was so excited to have a bunch of car drivers’ signatures (Keke Rosberg, Niki Lauda) gathered by my dad, and then the scribbles of celebs I’d met in my early days of radio…

Too Much Technology!

Check out how they love to make basic amenities not-so-basic in Japan. Here’s Cam with the lowdown from our Tokyo apartment. View this post on Instagram The shower in our #tokyo apartment. It's cool to see how everyday normal things differ from country to country. A post shared by brashesvoucher (@brashesvoucher) on May 11, 2016…

Arigato gozaimaaaaaaa……

…aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas! That’s how you say thank you like a local in Tokyo. Make sure you drag that final vowel sound right out until you need to catch another breath! As we sit here on our first Shinkansen fast train trip, hurtling through Japan’s many towns at 270 kph en route to Kyoto, I thought it’d…

Bargain Huntress

Happy Mother’s Day! My little mik-moks (that’s not Japanese…just a St.Clair family exclusive word) gave me beautiful cards made at home, a mini canvas, and a promise to buy me something special from…my favourite place on earth…a second hand/antique/junk/flea market! I’d scoured the net to find different markets in both Tokyo and Kyoto while we’re…

The Happiest Place on Earth

Tokyo has two Disney theme parks – Tokyo Disney, and Tokyo Disney Sea. We decided that one dose of Disney would be enough. It’s doubtful we’ll ever go to a US Disney Park (pretty low on my travel bucket list), so this was a good chance for a theme park fix while the girls are…

Totoro, Totoro!

If the films “My Neighbour Totoro”, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” or “Howl’s Moving Castle” mean nothing to you, you probably won’t be interested in our day at the Ghibli Museum, Tokyo. Studio Ghibli, and its brainchild Hayao Miyazki, has produced some of the highest grossing films in Japan, all animated, and their 2001 film “Spirited Away”…

What’s New Pussycat?

Yesterday was the day Milana was born for. A day dripping with cutesy, “kawaii” fluffiness, dipped in sugar and syrup and injected with baby pink fairy floss and pixie dust. We visited Sanrio Puroland, aka Hello Kitty Town, about an hour’s train trip from our home base. Milana was all nervous and skitty all morning,…