21 January 2017

To love Me is to know Me
To know Me is to see Me
To see Me is to love Me


Love is the beginning
And the end:
Why do you need
to worry about the middle?

14 January 2017


Gyokuro means jade dew
see the colour
of the green tea

burnt cedar coasters
clear glass tea cup

hohin means treasuer jar
style of tea pot

Pot and tea from Okayama

An excellent shopping city

10 January 2017

Visit to Hiroshima

I also went to Hiroshima in 2015, so this is the story of my second visit.

I think most people who visit Japan go to Hiroshima. After Tokyo, Kyoto is probably the biggest destination for tourists and then Hiroshima is only about two hours away on the Shinkansen.

It is a super easy city to get around, the tram system is simple to work out and has cheap tickets. Accommodation within walking distance of the Peace Memorial Park is plentiful, inexpensive by Japanese standards and high quality.

I recommend experiencing a sunrise and sunset in the Peace Park if possible, but just do a day trip from Kyoto if necessary. The island of Miyajima is very close to Hiroshima too, but that is another story.

I wrote quite a few poems this time.

As part of the Children's Peace Memorial paper cranes are displayed.

Yesterday's Peace
is not
today's meal.

Children's Peace Memorial

Obama came to visit in 2016

You can sound this crane inside the Children's Peace Memorial

Only the
fresh hearts
Can mend
my grief.

To a friend's work back home - nice synergy

is our world-responsibility

The message of Hiroshima:
Let every soul
ring the peace-bell.

Anyone is allowed to ring this bell!

Peace is to bow.
And bow.
And bow.
A privilege indeed.

Peace is the song
Which knows
How to appreciate beauty.

This crane was a gift from a wandering local

My heart-salutation
To the day.

Another friendly local offered to take my picture at sunset

A little Peace
is not enough.
Infinite Peace
I need.

13 September 2016

While composing this post, I wrote another poem. It was inspired by a picture I took of a stone which the youth of Fort William, Scotland and Dudley, Worcestershire, England felt compelled to present to the youth of Hiroshima in 1972. The Peace Park contains many intriguing sculptures and such.

Peace is
not a new discovery,
But the ancient summit
of our life-mountain.

09 January 2017

Lots by Marc Martin

This is a cool book.

32 pages A4 size hardcover with double spreads in watercolour show lots of things in different cities of the world as a way of telling the story of each place. The Alice Springs spread for example includes lots -a huge flock- of budgerigars.

Along with the cover, below are a few shots from the Tokyo spread: the famous Shibuya crossing with lots of people and the Hayabusa next to the box of a model of same I bought for my nephew on my travels.

Japan does have lots of trains and I have always found HyperDia indispensable for planning how to get around.

RRP $24.95

08 January 2017


pronounced ski-gee

This most famous in the world massive wholesale fish market
provides astoundingly fresh sushi, sashimi and shopping
in a couple of large blocks worth of lanes of shops and stalls next door.

I haven't actually been to the inner market, but have had breakfast at the same stall twice in the outer market. It was the only place open when I went there in October 2015 and even though absolutely everything was open in September 2016 I went straight back there again - I just seemed to gravitate to a place I had already been as comforting and familiar.

I ate these two plates for breakfast at one sitting on my second visit!

The orange balls are salmon roe, ikura, which means fish eggs in Russian - balls of salty sweet tasty zestiness. Best from early September until mid-October. "Ikura?" is also how you ask, "How much?" in Japanese.

The brown goo, or gold-coloured delicacy if you prefer, is uni, the gonads of sea urchin, uber-umami flavour.

Neither ikura or uni began to be consumed in Japan until after World War II. They may not be around today if they had been on the menu for hundreds of years. I read science whch said it will be very surprising if the seas contain such tuna as are fished today a few hundred years hence, maybe sooner.

After all, vast swathes of Australian coral have been lost due to just 0.8 of a degree rise in the ocean's surface temperature, but still the Premier of Queensland bows to Adani. But don't be fooled, it wouldn't matter who was playing that role for there is nothing so venal as the relationship between current and former politicians in Australia across a range of industries, including the resources sector.

Otherwise, fatty tuna and super fatty tuna is definitely what these sets were all about. Super fatty tuna comes from the throat of the fish apparently.

The egg is called tamago.

If you visit Tsukiji, I also recommend wandering and eating little at a lot of places to try more of the variety of things on offer. It was possible to just order the items in my bowls individually as sashimi without rice, I just didn't think of doing it at the time.

Do your research if you want to go. it's not open every day of the week and you will want to get there early. Tsukiji was slated to be moved by the end of 2016, but it hasn't happened yet.

07 January 2017

Yamato Takeru in Kenroku-en

This statue of Yamato Takeru, aka Prince Ōsu, commemorates the Satsuma Rebellion - because not everyone dug the Emperor Meiji.

This Prince was a real person born around the time the Roman Catholic church was just kicking off, so he's 'mythological'.

With the quenching of the fire of rebellion nurtured by the rōnin, the long standing way of life of the samurai in Japan was decisively over. The door to the West would never close again and the country started swallowing capitalism whole at the Emperor's urging.

Anyway, all this is by way of introduction to Kenroku-en, the famous garden of Kanazawa.

The garden is at least 350 years old and belonged to the ruling samurai of the region.

Kanazawa translates as 'marsh of gold'. I think that is why there are gold flecks visible on the top of the statue's pedestal if you enlarge the picture.

Next to the statue you will find this pine tree - a piece of mighty sculptural magnificence.

September 2016