Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

2012年12月30日

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.

高野山 Koyasan

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Travel
Tags: ,

2012年2月18日

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.
  

2012年2月12日

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

2011年12月24日

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!!

2011年8月28日

The Summer Holidays~ A time where students and teachers rejoice.. Well, in Australia they do anyway. In Japan however, the students come to school everyday for club activities, which means the teachers also have to come to school for club activities, and nobody really travels or has a decent break. Luckily for most of my JET friends, their Boards of Education allow them not to come to school… But my Board of Education doesn’t allow that kind of thing. So besides sitting at my desk listening to K-pop in the staff room, I did manage to travel a little bit!!

SOUTH KOREA      韓国     한국

I arrived to 부산 (Busan) on the 30th July. It was hot and humid, but not as bad as Osaka. As soon as I arrived, I felt at easy and very happy. A bunch of friends were there to greet me and welcome me to Busan for my first time. We checked out the 자갈치 시장 (Jagalchi seafood market) and at delicious seafood!
 
My accommodation was at a place called ‘Chan’s Guest House’. It has an Indian theme, and is quite close to 해운대 바닷가 (Haeundae beach), like 3 mins away! So of course I went to the beach, even though it was really, really crowded and the deepest part was waist deep. The water was also extremely cold, but on those hot and humid days, nothing’s better! I also got to travel to various other parts such as 청사포 (Cheongsapo) which is famed for it’s baked clams, and also ate Waffles at Beans Bin Cafe before walking back down to 해운대 (Haeundae) with the beautiful view of the beach.
 

We (new friends were made) also visited 남포동 (Nampodong), the heart of Busan. Here we checked out PIFF (Pusan International Film Festival) square and ate 호떡 (Hoddeok) (some sort of rice cake with a sweet filling inside), anyway, it was delicious, but we had to wait 30 mins for it and I didn’t want to wait another 30 mins for another one.. ㅠ.ㅠ

My friend 정연이 누나 works in Busan, but lives in 대구 (Daegu) so I also got to travel to Daegu and have a look around. We had to run to the train station because we wanted to watch as much of the 2PM concert as we could at Haeundae beach. I also fell in love with a girl group called 5dolls that night too. Too bad it was raining most of my time there, but I went shopping and continued eating many delicious foods, even my 누나의 Aunty made 잡채 (japchae) for me as it’s one of my favourite foods.
 

We also had to check out 신세계 (Shinsegae), the world’s largest department store. It was so big, we spent 2 days there!! Also, there’s a public bath area called ‘Spa Land’ which we went to and enjoyed a relaxing time!!
 

Next, I travelled to 광주 와 진도 (Gwangju and Jindo) as that’s where most of my Korean family live.

I found my way to Gwangju via bus from Busan without too much difficulty, and there I met up with my cousin and his girlfriend first. I can’t believe that he is actually TALLER than me now! He must be about 192 cm!! Anyway, I got to meet his dad for the first time and I also got to meet old cousins and new cousins, my mum, my grandparents for the first time and uncles and aunties. They are all such nice people!! I really think I’m lucky sometimes! There isn’t much to do in Jindo as it’s very country-side, but there was a beach close by^^

After only spending a short time with my new family, I made a move to 서울 (Seoul) where I would spend a week catching up with friends, shopping, relaxing and having a good time. I felt at home in 홍대 (Hongdae) as not only is it a popular place with nice cafe’s and many clubs, eateries, etc, but my adoption agency is based in Hongdae. I’m so grateful for my adoption agency, that I’m also sponsoring a boy through the same agency. Eastern Social Welfare Society. My girlfriend Sayaka also managed to come for a few days to Korea, which was great! As it was her first time, everything was kind of new and exciting, exploring 남대문 시장 (Namdaemun Markets), 명동 (Myeongdong), 홍대 (Hongdae), 인사동 (Insadong), 청계천 (Cheonggaecheon) and 광화문 (Gwanghwamun).

Mt. Fuji 富士山

On the 21st Aug, my friend Yuki and I left Shin-Osaka (新大阪) at 10:30pm to make our way to Mt. Fuji, arriving there at approximately 4:30am!! The weather driving there was appalling. Rain, rain and more rain! But we slept and woke up a few hours later to get ready for our climb. Initially we wanted to climb, stay the night at one of the stations and then climb the rest to see the sunrise the next morning, but we were faced with mist, wind and rain…

Anyway, we still got ready and made our way to the stairs, the first leg of our journey on our legs. However, a man told us that we could only go as far as the 7th station because the weather was too bad. Disappointed with that news, we decided to climb to the 7th station anyway. What did we have to lose after travelling all that way, right? So we made it to the 7th station and celebrated as far as we could go with a coffee (because our hands were numb from the cold).

Anyway, after having our coffee, we decided to go as far as the ‘old 7th station’ as we were at the ‘new 7th station’. And we travelled up and after we arrived, we saw some people coming down from further up and also people continuing to climb up, so what the hell, we decided to go one more. And as we reached the next station, we decided to go to the next station until we… Yes, that’s right! We made it to the top!!! 3,775 metres high!

It took 5 hours to climb up, but only about 1 hour to climb down. But climbing up and down in 1 day was hell for our legs! Lucky there’s 温泉 (onsen – public baths) around. We went to a nice one called 花の湯 (Hana no yu). Because we had planned staying on Mt. Fuji overnight, we had to decide where to go for the night. Because Yuki is from Nagoya (名古屋) and I have friends in Nagoya, we decided to go there.
In Nagoya I got to catch up with 涼君 and 健ちゃん and watched Transformers 3.

 

 

 

2011年5月8日

So I returned to Japan from Australia today as I went back to Australia during Japan’s “Golden Week“, basically a week long holiday.

When I was back in my Country, I spoke with my grandparents who have decided to move out into a semi-looked after retirement village where they don’t have to cook and wash dishes and maintain gardens. Besides the face that they are getting older, do you ever actually sit down and think about the fact that you’re getting older? I think the answer is yes. Whilst this probably doesn’t apply to a lot of people, my grandma said something which struck something within me. She said “You always think you’re getting older. You always say you’re getting older and when you get older you’ll do such and such. Even when you’re old, you continue to say ‘when I’m old’ or ‘when I’m older’ but it’s a sad and painful fact when you have to admit to yourself that ‘I am old’ “. 

Not only that, on the aeroplane ride coming back to Japan I watched a Japanese movie with the English title: 1778 Stories of Me and My Wife. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrUaMT__HmM]
I don’t want to ruin the story line of it, but it really made me realise that I have to knuckle down and do the things that I want to do in my life before it’s too late and I’m at a point in my life where I have to admit ‘I am old’.

Back to teaching tomorrow. I hope that I can help inspire some of my students (all of them would be great) to reach out and do the things that they want to do. To waste your life is just a waste of the world’s resources.

2011年2月15日

Ok, so last week I travelled up to Sapporo which is located in Hokkaido (the north island of Japan). The main reason was because there is a festival held every year for approximately a week called 雪祭り or Snow Festival.

It was amazingly cold and snow everywhere! I was slipping and sliding with every step that I was taking, and unknowingly using muscles in my legs that I didn’t know existed..! I definitely prefer Winter over Summer, but Sapporo is too cold for my liking! The snow is very, very pretty, but it sucks when your clothes are damp, fingers frozen, feet frozen, hair flat, glasses fogged up to the max from entering a building…
But it was definitely worth it for photo’s such as these:

And I suppose it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise, but other towns also had ice sculptures such as Otaru 小樽.

I also went to Tenguyama 天狗山, which offers a nice night view of Otaru, especially in Winter because there is a night skiing course there.

I wish I had more time to travel to more places in Hokkaido, and I would love to see the magnificent flowers that grow in the Summer, but I’m not sure when the next time I will be back in Hokkaido will be. For now, I’m loving my slightly warmer town back here in Osaka!