On my way back to Australia from Korea, I stopped by Osaka, Japan (as per usual) and I didn’t have much planned except the usual SpaWorld in south Osaka and then my friend Sayaka suggested that we try strawberry picking! I’ve always wanted to do this, and even though winter was just starting to settle in, Savor Farm (サバーファーム) in Tondabayashi (富田林) is one of the earliest places of the strawberry picking season (Eastern Osaka).



Thankfully Sayaka had a car, as getting there by public transportation looked a bit complicated and long, we got there in about 30~40 minutes from Sakai Station (堺駅) on the Nankai line (南海線) and once you pay to go in there is a 30 minute all you can eat strawberries!! But the only drawback is that you can’t take any strawberries away from the farm, they must all be eaten there and then (unless you bag a few and put them in your pockets as you leave…)

The strawberries were a decent size, and amazingly sweet! Considering how expensive they are, we definitely got our money’s worth of strawberries! It was a great experience and one I hope to do again, but next time I want to go to Awaji Island!!






This is the website, but it’s all in Japanese…



After I arrived to South Korea on my F4 visa from Australia on a 1 way ticket, that visa has served its purpose and I now need to get a new F4 visa to actually stay in Korea and be able to apply for my foreigner card which will then allow me to set up a bank account and get a sim for my iPhone 4S (ktexpatblog.com). What I didn’t bring with me was passport sized photographs! I ended up going to a 사진관 (sajin-gwan) in 이대 (Iwha Women’s University) as I couldn’t find any of those photo booths in the subway stations.


This studio is located from exit 1 of Idae station (이대역) next to Innis Free store. You go up to the 2nd floor and it’ll cost W30,000 but you’ll get about 10 photos (I think) and you get to watch this guy make you look AMAZING! Your skin will probably never look so good as a photo from South Korea or Japan! So smooth! For me, they also adjusted my nose and re-augmented my chin and lips. Removed my 5 o’clock shadow too! Well worth the money, and they also get you to put in your email address and send a copy for your own personal reserve.


Image (Pic not mine)

Whilst it’s great to be back in Oz after 2 years in Japan, I’m just about ready to hope on the plane and move myself to Korea where I’ll be studying Korean full time. Full time being Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm.

Right now it sounds pretty light on, so I’m hoping that I’ll get to join a club (hopefully Taekwondo 태권도) at my university (I’m going to Korea University 고려대학교) and I’ll make use of the library for extra study.

I already bought my ticket, 1-way business class with Jetstar. I bought my ticket when Jetstar was having a sale. This will only be the 2nd time that I’ve flown business class, so I hope it’ll be a comfortable trip to Japan, where I’ll stop for a few days to see friends.

I’ve sorted out accommodation, I’ll be staying at InKAS – Woorljip for Korean Adoptees. I do hope to spend time at Eastern Social Welfare Society to volunteer a bit, nurse the little babies and meet other adoptees as they come to Korea.

I’ve got my F4 Visa! I just have to save up a bit more money to fund myself for the 1.5 years I’ll be living in Korea! I’m pretty lucky that my old hospital gave me my job back, and the wage of nurses has increased a bit which is great for me!! A pity it seems that I won’t be able to work as a Registered Nurse in Seoul due to not being able to speak fluent Korean, as that would be great experience!

I’m just waiting for my pension money to come to me after working with JET for 2 years and after I do my tax return in July!!

I’ve already got a few things on my MUST DO list:
Go to Jeju Island!
Meet my Korean family, especially grandparents!
Save money to go to Spain for a holiday with my Australian parents to visit my Aunty.


I don’t know why, but I decided to put a movie on for background noise whilst I cleaned/did chores/did things that needed to be done but I always get sucked into watching it for a little bit, which turns into a long bit and then I need to keep watching the whole drama again.

This time it’s 1 Litre of Tears 1リットルの涙


I think I’ve mentioned it before in my blog somewhere, but it’s a true story and it’s very sad! You’ll shed at least 1 litre of tears!!
But in relation to that, I wanted to write about my own current “sickness”. I’ve had it for about 2 months now, maybe 2.5 months… And it has pretty much worn away my patience. I’m not sure where I got it from, but I think it’s around the time I went to Thailand or Okinawa. Anyway, I was infected with scabies. ヒゼンダニ. At first I wasn’t sure what these small pustule like things were, and thought that it was an allergic reaction as my fellow teachers had said that they had also had similar things in the past to allergic reactions from certain plants.

But it didn’t get better, so I went to a doctor and he looked at me for about 3 seconds and told me I had heat rash. I couldn’t believe that he could diagnose me within 3 seconds, but I was un-prepared to explain or say anything, so I received the anti-itch cream he prescribed and left. I even went back after 2 weeks because it didn’t get better, in fact it seemed to have gotten slightly worse, I was waking up during the night due to itchiness, I felt ashamed to let people see my skin, it was terrible, but he looked at my skin for about 3 seconds again and told me that it was definitely heat rash and it’ll take time to heal.

I didn’t know what to do, so I put up with the itch and went on a holiday to Singapore and the Philippines as I had bought the tickets about half a year ago. I know those 2 countries are hot, but I didn’t want to waste an opportunity like that so I went. Even though it was torture for my skin, it was super itchy and looked super fugly, I was able to survive because I didn’t know anyone there.

Anyway, I came back to Japan, and in desperation, I asked my friends for a good doctor that they could recommend. I went to Izumiootsu to see a Doctor Mochida (泉大津の持田先生) and he finally diagnosed me with scabies. Not that I was happy to hear that I had scabies, but at least I had a name for the disease and could start to get it properly treated.

I saw the doctor today, which has been for the 5 week in a row now and looks like things are starting to get better.

I suppose the point of this blog is to appreciate everything you have and can do. Just like the main character from the drama 1 Litre of Tears, when you have a sickness for a long time, that’s when you truly appreciate everything you had before. I’m lucky that what I have is treatable, and I definitely can’t wait until I can go to sleep without waking up due to itchiness, I can walk around and not be scared in case someone sees my skin.

This is something that I definitely don’t want to experience again. If you think you might have scabies, it starts with red spots, maybe some small pustules/blister like “water” under the skin, itchiness, etc, go ask a doctor for a check up. The sooner you start treatment, the better.

高野山 Koyasan

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Travel
Tags: ,


Always wanted to go down and check out Koyasan. I especially wanted to go down and check out the Autumn leaves in Koyasan, but I was always too busy. Luckily, a group called WhyNot!? JAPAN had an outing going to Koyasan, so I jumped on board with my friend Helen and off we went! Koyasan is also an important part in the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.

First we left from Nankai Namba Station (南海難波駅) and we caught a train all the way down to Koyasan. We were even blessed with falling snow (It hadn’t snowed that heavy in over many, many years)! We stayed at a temple in Koyasan, even had the all-you-can-drink (飲み放題) party in the temple.

We got to check out the sites and surrounding areas, especially some temples and the graveyard site. There’s a well, and if you look down and can’t see your reflection it means that you’re going to die within 3 years (? I think…). Lucky for us we saw our reflection!


We got to eat 精進料理 (shoujin ryouri) – Basically the vegetarian Buddhist Monk food. I’ve eaten it before in Korea when I did a temple stay at Odaesan, but this food in Koyasan was incredibly delicious!

We even had the 飲み放題 (all you can drink) party in the shukubou! We got to try a new type of beer by Suntory before it was released to the public!! ^_^

After exploring, warming our frost bitten toes and fingers, eating and drinking… it was time for bed.
The next day we did a little more sightseeing where Helen and I tried to do a bit of shuffling due to the current popular song by LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem.
{Reminder to insert later}

Time to head back to Osaka, though this time we got to ride the Tenku – a train with the purpose of letting you view the scenery as you travel.


Having friends come  over to the country I’m currently in and then staying at my place and hanging out is definitely fun! It’s even better when it’s like one of my best friends!! Thanks Jaimie!!

He came in December and stayed at my place, just looking around Osaka a bit before going to Fukuoka where he did a 5/6 week language course. We did also make it to Tokyo to go to the YG Family Concert in Saitama!! We walked next to Jun Matsumoto (まつじゅん) from Arashi (嵐)!! And we got our seats upgraded to right in front of the stage because a camera had been set up over our original seats!! SCORE!! I found a whole new love for PSY (싸이), Gummy (거미), Bigbang (빅뱅), 2NE1, SE7EN & JINUSEAN. We also did a bit of exploring and popped into the the A & F store for a quick photo.. ^_^ hehe

In January I went to Fukuoka (福岡) and met some of Jaimie‘s teachers and had izakaya food and then home made dumplings!! I would like to explore more of Fukuoka, but I guess I’ll save it for another time!

Next we travelled by the JR Beetle to Busan. I tried to reserve a spot via the internet, but because my credit card isn’t actually a credit card.. it’s a visa debit, it wouldn’t allow me to book it online, so I ended up calling the number and trying my best in Japanese to make a reservation, anyway, it was successful and we had our seats and just paid the cash at the terminal. It took 2.5 hours to get there, but it took a bit of time to go through the screening process and because of that we didn’t make it to Busan station in time to catch the KTX which I had booked online. Anyway, we bought new tickets and were on our way to Seoul pretty much straight away.. yet another 2.5 hour tripsleep~

We made it to Seoul, and it was pretty easy once we found our accommodation. Fraser Suite Hotel! When we checked in… free upgrade to a 3 bedroom suite! O_O ka-ching!! 2 bathrooms, so we had one each. Jaimie had the double bed, but my bed was still heaps comfy too! Kitchen.. like an actual kitchen! Decent lounges! It’s situated right next to Insadong, and close enough to Jong-no that you can go to bars and stuff . We wanted to go and check out “GRINDR“, but it was closed on Sunday nights *tear*. Anyway, soju + yakult = awesome! We also went to Seoul Tower, where I left part of myself there and we went to a Brown Eyed Soul concert! OMG, ALL of their voices are heaven!!

After 3 days in Seoul, which was NOT enough time to explore (though we did manage to make it to Condomania in Hongdae and get our ears pierced – 1 in each ear for Jaimie as it was his first time, and I got 2 in my upper left ear, now a total of 7), and non stop eating, we returned back to Japan where our other friend Nicola was coming over. We ate takoyaki, we went to a club called Explosion in Umeda, we rod the ferris wheel on top of Hep 5 and took purikura as well!!
Also, thanks to Helen, Helen invited us over to her pad in Kobe and she made us some viet crepes!! Delicious!! Yum!!

Now I’m back to a quiet and lonely place… Miss you Jaimie!! See you soon back in Australia!!

24th December 2011

Posted: December 24, 2011 in Travel


It has snuck up and is ready for the attack. That’s right, it’s Christmas time yet again.
I can’t believe how fast this 2nd half of the year has passed! Again, I’ve been travelling, so time to update again… Though it might be a slow process as I’m travelling at the moment. I have to really update as I do things… >_> *grumble grumble*

Ok, so my friends and I went for a road trip to Amanohashidate (天橋立), 1 of the 3 must see scenic places in Japan. The others being the Floating Gate (Torii) in Miyajima and the Islands of Matsushima. Amanohashidate is also known as the “Bridge to Heaven” because when you go to the look out point, face the opposite direction and then bend over so that you’re looking through your legs, it looks like a bridge to heaven.



So normally it will look like this:   And this is what it becomes: 

It took about 3 hours to get to Amanohashidate from Kobe by car, which wasn’t too bad. But it’s a pity we didn’t really get a chance to eat crab, as the seafood is supposed to be better here. *Flashback to when we were together again in Sapporo and didn’t really get to crab out on good crab – missed chance*


We were missing 1 person due to a cold, but we still managed to make a small mark from our home Sydney, Australia!! ^_^
Couldn’t complain about the weather at all!! Lucky!!
In attendance: myself, Julie Tran, Helen Tran and Matt King.

And we went during the time of ‘Autumn leaf viewing’, so the hills had tree’s of green, yellow, red, orange and brown colours~ It was really pretty!


So when we finally came back to Kobe to split our separate ways again, we made a slight detour to visit Tetsujin!!