Oh how I wish we had these in NZ!
Could zip up to Auckland for lunch
without all the hassle of air travel





Enkouji, Kyoto

The first time visiting a temple is always such a fantastic moment, but unfortunately my first stop at Rurikoin was crowded with tourists, all taking the exact same photo… Thankfully Kyoto has so many temples that as long as you do some research you can find a beautiful quiet temple to find some peace so my visit to Rurikoin was fairly rapid & I then walked half an hour through the light rain to Enkouji, where thankfully there were only a few people and I got to explore and discover it at my own pace, undisturbed…






(methink some time in the last thousand years this tree dropped the bass!)





This last photo took a bit more effort… unfortunately some Chinese tourists had arrived by the time I got back around to this gorgeous tatami room, one of whom was happily sitting in the doorway munching on sandwiches and effectively ruining the view for everyone else… and her friend was sitting inside trying to take selfys… I stood behind her a few metres with my XPAN in hand and waited… and waited… After a while she realised I was waiting on her, so what did she do? She asked me to take a photo with her cellphone of her sitting in the freaking doorway!?!
So I responded: OK, but only if you & your friend get out of the way, as you are ruining it for everyone. She agreed and thrust her cellphone at me, telling me to take the photo in vertical mode. So I took her phone, muttered something about knowing how to take photos & turned it sideways, counted down 3,2,1 and took her lame photo… But no that wasn’t enough… she calls her friend over and gets her into position, and asks for some more… OK 3 2 1 done… They eventually exit….

Self awareness: zero, lame photos: 2







Wow – what a contrast! Tokyo & Osaka/Kansai feel unseasonably warm (or at least not particularly cold for winter) but soon as got off the flight to Chitrose Airport in Hokkaido felt the bite in the air, and not long after snow was falling! Caught train to Sapporo, picked up rental 4WD and then drove to Asahikawa for ramen, roads totally covered in snow… and so beautiful, like the landscapes have had a fresh coat of white paint!