Thursday Doors – Sapporo Shiryokan

The Sapporo Shiryokan, also known as the Former Court of Appeals, sits at the western-most end of Odori Park. Amidst explorations of the Sapporo Snow Festival, I took a moment to stop and admire this regal building and its neat gardens.

From what I gather from this website, it’s now used as an art gallery and museum of sorts. (Side note: it’s so weird seeing a photo of the gardens (on the website) with so much colour, and none of that snow it was buried under when I was there!)

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pocket wifi

It’s been a busy week-end, so just a quick post today. This one’s another more general post, similar to what I wrote about the trains. Also realised (after I posted that) that I forgot to mention how I used hyperdia.com a lot to find train times, but also to figure out which platform we were supposed to be on to get wherever we were going. (I remember being in Hiroshima, and being unsure which train line would get us to Miyajima Guchi, so I just searched which platform we had to be on, and we took whatever train was there. It worked out well.)

It was actually really useful because you can refine the search to exclude non-JR lines (since we were using JR passes mostly). You can search all the bullet trains (shinkansen) on their too.

But, anyway, what I really wanted to write about was the “pocket wifi” that we utilised for the duration of our trip. It’s a little device that allows you (and up to nine other people) to have wifi internet anywhere you go. And thank goodness for that because, as I learnt on that first night, Tokyo (and the rest of Japan) is massive and intricate, and I don’t have the best sense of direction. I actually left most of the navigating responsibilities to KF.

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drifting

There are some nights I go to bed and have absolutely no trouble falling asleep. Then there are nights my mind is particularly hyperactive, and just keeps going from one thing to another. The only benefit of this, I’ve noticed, is that sometimes I (eventually) get to experience that almost blissfully dopey pre-sleep stage, somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness.

Like a lot of things that I’ve randomly read about on blogs, or written about, myself, I reckon other people must experience this too. But it’s not like that knee-jerk reaction / sensation of falling, which some people get just as they’re about to fall asleep. It’s a lot nicer than this (I have experienced that falling sensation too, but not much recently).

Whenever this happens to me, I’ll be lying in bed, my mind wandering from tangent to tangent, and then I suddenly realise that my thoughts have become almost completely nonsensical. And because I’m not quite asleep, but not really awake, I kind of just observe the absurdity of these thoughts, and I recognise, in that moment, that it’s a sign that sleep is almost here. It’s actually kind of amusing and soothing at the same time; I’ll generally fall asleep without any trouble after this stage.

Only thing is, I wish I could remember what some of these thoughts were. I keep pen and paper near my bed, but I reckon the second I try to return to the realm of wakefulness, the thoughts would be lost before I even picked up the pen. And, of course, once I’m asleep, there’s no chance of recovering the thoughts.

Thursday Doors – wandering

Feels like it’s been a long time since my last Thursday Doors post, and January and February are looking like they’ll be busy months, so I thought I’d get in quick with a short post.

My favourite colour is actually orange, but I like colour in general, particularly bright, bold colours. As such, I didn’t even try to suppress the smile that spread across my face when I found this shipping-container-esque stall and its shiny blue doors

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Just unobtrusively parked in front of a hotel entrance…

I found it along Roma Street (inner Brisbane) one day when I was, coincidentally, wandering around aimlessly. I also thought, because of its name, this would be a good one to start off the new year.

I haven’t yet returned to find out what they do/sell when open, but I would guess street food or coffee or something along those lines. Actually, maybe it’s not even there any more…

Thursday Doors is run by Norm 2.0. Please visit his site to find links to other participating blogs (or to add yours to the list if you want to join in!)

Thursday Doors – local coffee

There’s a cafe in one of the parks I run through on week-ends. I think I’ve only ever seen it open and operating once because I generally prefer to run in the late afternoon / early evening (for various reasons, not least of which is sleeping in), and cafes don’t tend to stay open that late on week-ends (particularly suburban ones).

When they are closed and dormant, it’s not easy to distinguish where the door is (especially if you’re just running past, and mostly trying to just keep running) but I happened to notice it one time (after having passed it many, many times)  Continue reading