a thousand paper cranes

I started learning Japanese when I was in grade five. It was easy to tell that our teacher, Mr M., was rather passionate not only about the Japanese language but also about Japanese culture and everything else to do with Japan. He’d often teach us random tidbits of information that weren’t necessarily relevant/important to us learning the language. (But I suppose you could argue that fostering an interest in Japanese culture would help keep us motivated and enthusiastic about learning the words.)

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Thursday Doors – Archive Books (a bibliophile’s haven)

I was out in the city last week to do some Christmas shopping. And by “Christmas shopping” I mean that I had to buy one gift for my workplace Secret Santa. Shouldn’t be hard, right? Well, no, not usually, except that it was really busy and crowded everywhere. Plus I don’t overly like shopping to begin with.

After browsing through a few shops, feeling my patience diminishing, I retreated into a book store. Books make good presents, right? That was my pretence for going in there, but, really, it just felt more tranquil in the book store than out there, even if there were a lot more people than usual in the book store as well.

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Thursday Doors – The Chapel, Montville

Montville is a quaint little town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, about an hour and a half drive from Brisbane. I was there about four weeks ago for a friend’s wedding. A very good friend’s wedding, in fact, as I had the great honour of being a bridesmaid.

The wedding ceremony was held at The Chapel, which is possibly the quaintest but also most stunning building in all of Montville.  Continue reading

Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji & Chion-in Temples

So with my revised blogging schedule, I’ve decided to skip ahead a few days on my Japan trip recount. These, I think, I’ll most likely return to as Thursday Doors posts, or some other random post as I think of them. Today I’d like to share one of my most memorable days from the holiday: Tuesday February 14th, which KF and I spent in Kyoto.

Having travelled there by bullet train the day before, this would be our first full day in Kyoto. Prior to the trip, I did do a little bit of research about places to visit in and around the city, but on the day we arrived, we visited the tourist information centre (helpfully located near the main train station), and a very helpful guide/assistant (who also spoke really good English) gave us a few pointers about getting around town. We left with a map of the bus routes, bus passes, and a better idea of what we’d be doing the next day.  Continue reading