Travel day to Tokyo, nothing much to report

Wednesday December 30, 2015

Check out from Nozawa Onsen day, sad faces all round.  We packed, said our goodbyes to Mark and Kerri, who were fantastic hosts, and a very helpful brother and sister team.

One thing we learned and made use of, was the ability to send on 2 of our bags straight to Narita airport to put up on our departure via the ‘black cat’ service. We had overheard some people talking about the service, and we got the low down from Kerri, and sorted what we needed in Tokyo, to that we don’t. ¬†Having 2 less large bags will make a world of difference for us with dragging them on the buses, trains and the Tokyo metro, storing them in small accom, plus on our final day, after checkout, storing them and battling the Tokyo crowds to get to the airport later in the day.

The bus from the village to the JR station was filled to the brim.  I thought we were standing, but extra seats fold out.

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My legendary direction fails and shortcuts caught us again, with one wrong turn, I took us on a extended journey to our apartment.

We got in, the girls decided to dig in for the night, so I grabbed them some supplies and Ryan and I then found a great place close by, that you ordered your meals via a ticket machine and took them then to the counter.

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The crew are exuding a feeling of ready to go home. ¬†Whilst we are not heading off until Sunday night, I think we are ready to get back to the comforts of home. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, we will still be enjoying our days here in Tokyo

Today’s song of the day is¬†Whole Wide World – Sister Jane

Three days on the snow

Sunday – Tuesday, Dec 27-29, 2015

I am combining the days for the last post from Nozawa, as it is fairly much the same routine each day, which is still super fun for us, but you my one reader may not like me coming up with yet another way of saying the word ‘white’ when describing the snow!

The village sure looks prettier as the snow falls!

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looking out our windowIMG_3636 IMG_3598 IMG_3596 IMG_3597

Time to hit the slopes!IMG_3613

Tegan and I heading to the slopes before our 3rd mountain member can make it out the door.

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Getting suited up at the ski locker

With not all of the mountain open as yet, there were some queues at times for chairlifts and gondolas.

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coming out from popeye’s on the slopes

We stopped to make a snowman along a trail were were skiing, and it is a lot harder than we thought to make one from very powdery snow, but the kids did a great job.

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Coming back into the base station

IMG_3662This shot was taken roughly in the same spot as Christmas day photos, one attached below.

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Some shots of some of the food we inhaled.


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nozawana IMG_3625
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I wondered why we weren’t getting served until Ryan spotted thisIMG_3621 IMG_3619
We bought a bag of bacon whilst we were here, but we think whilst it may be bacon’ish, it is pork. ¬†I have no idea of the difference, but it smelt and tasted of a roast :)

brown bacon and snow, worst video ever!

Some shots from around town.
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getting colder

The onsen / hot springs water flowing through town is where you put your build up of snow.

Today’s song of the day is¬†Alex Lloyd – Snow

Boxing Day Snow Monkeys

Saturday 26 December, 2015

Well this wasn’t our typical boxing day of eating Christmas left overs, watching the cricket and the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, for yours truly, whilst Sue hits the sales at Carindale with Tegan and any sisters wanting to head.

Though, today we had slated to see the snow monkeys!


First though, we just to see white outside the apartment window, which was a very welcome sight!
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When we got to the monkey area, a ranger (I am guessing) started to blow a whilst and sprinkling seed around a stream, and hundreds of monkeys came streaming down a steam mountain, it was quite a site to see, as we were told, sometime no monkeys come at the time of tour. 3W9A3888 3W9A3891 3W9A3894 3W9A3897
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Sue in red jacket checking out the monkeys
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popular place!
We dropped into another onsen town on the way home, and it must have been bath time as there was much clopping of wooden thongs, as they were mostly dressed in traditional wear.
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old school arcade parlour3W9A3964
egg?
We found some good ramen for the boys, and suitable options for the girls for dinner.


We were a bit tuckered out, so we had a cruisy evening watching anime on netflix at our apartment, whilst I caught up somewhat with this blog. Whilst I love that we have a historical record of our travels, it does tend to take time to get them done!


Song of the day is Peter Gabriel РShock The Monkey

Green to White Christmas

Friday December 25, 2015

 

We woke to clear snow, rather than the fluffy white stuff, but there were some gifts for the kids under Terry.

3W9A3885We had a relaxing morning, and decided to walk through town to the other gondola station to check it out and grab some lunch.  Whilst we were there, it started to snow!

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temperature starting to drop

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These steamed buns were delicious!

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Not much snow when we arrived

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It started snowing!

Sue found a great option for dinner with the help of Kerri at our accomodation, Haus St Anton’s degustation menu, and it was so good! 7 courses of joy!

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It then snowed for us on the way home, which a fantastic finish to our Christmas!

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Today’s song of the day¬†Paul Kelly ‚ÄėHow To Make Gravy‚Äô

Christmas eve

Thursday December 24, 2015

Today was our first day up the hill and getting a Skiing lesson at 1:00, so it was off to get some runs in to remind the legs what this skiing is about. Sue was set to get the lay of town.
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no snow yet in the village
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heading up on the gondola
getting in some runs
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pastries and views 
We had a 2 hour lesson with Tom, which went well and gave us all tips on what to concentrate on. We then headed back to hear about Sue’s day.

 

We had the last couple of presents to grab for the kids, whilst we are having a minimal gifts year, there were a couple spotted to grab.  Once that was sorted, Sue and I decided to go into a bar for a Christmas eve drink, and met a lovely couple from Liverpool, and enjoyed a few drinks and talked music, tv shows and travel.


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My yamazaki whisky, which is a new favourite to sip on.


It was then back to the unit to wrap up the gifts and get ready for our Christmas.

Today’s song of the day is LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

Off to Nozawa Onsen

Wednesday December 23, 2015


Today we are off to our Christmas destination, Nozawa Onsen on the recommendation of Nigel, who holidayed there the previous year with his family, who was also recommended there by a mutual friend John C.


After experiencing the crowds a couple of days before on the local train into Kyoto, we arranged for taxis to take us there, and it could not have been smoother, and quite reasonably priced.


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Once on the first train, we settled back for a 2 train, 1 bus journey.
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beverage for the train
We found our accomodation, and was greeted warmly by Kerri, and shown to our accomodation. ¬†Sue’s eyes lit up. ¬†Modern, spacious, and universally warm throughout! ¬†The last place had no heating in kitchen and bathroom areas and was very cold. ¬†Sue’s isn’t skiing at all, so I was glad it was a great environment for her to relax whilst not out in the town.


We had a quick reccy of the¬†¬†village, and got some supplies. On the way out, I asked if there was anywhere in town that I could buy some little speakers, as there wasn’t a tv in our room, and we might want some music playing. ¬†On our return a tv had arrived, and whilst it didn’t have an aerial cable, we had an apple tv with us to connect in music and netflix shows.


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Yes we packed a small tree to bring with us
After a western style dinner at an Italian place in the village, we got fitted out for our ski gear, ready to hit the slopes in the morning.


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It has been an unusually late start to the snow season, but there are predictions that it is coming soon, hope it does while we are here…


Today’s Song of the day is¬†Peking Duk ft. Nicole Millar – “High”

A day of green and gold

Tuesday 22nd December, 2015

Today we were checking out a couple of local sites, and doing some shopping.

I had heard to get ahead of the crowds, you need to head to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove early.  Even with this dumbass setting his alarm for PM rather than AM, I still managed to get there and grab some photos before the hoards come in, and the rest of the gang were fully stirred back at HQ.

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We went in search of a couple of items to purchase, and Sue had researched a place to restock one of our brekky staples.
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cliche aussies, but a welcome purchase
It was then off to the golden pavilion, and it was a spectacle to see.
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Sometimes we were unsure if you are walking in front of someone taking a pic on their hone or it’s a selfie, as there is so much to photograph all around you. 3W9A3837
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We then headed to the bamboo grove, and it was stark the contrast between the number of people there to that earlier in the morning.
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Today’s song of the day is¬†Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion