Project 365 2012 – Day 322 – NZ Day 1


Day 322 – Rocks

Day 1 – Melbourne to Auckland to Queenstown to Te Anau

It was a late flight and I managed to get some sleep. Unfortunately we had a 3 hour layover in Auckland, but we made the most of it by getting breakfast (at 3am Melbourne time and 5am local time), doing some reading and getting some sleep in the terminal. Well, I slept, but the husband can’t sleep anywhere the way I can.

We got to Queenstown, which was quite a lovely airport, picked up our bags, picked up our rental car and headed into Queenstown for some lunch, souvlaki in the park. I tasted my first L & P, lemon and paeroa, which is a New Zealand lemon drink that I quite enjoyed.  Then we set off to Te Anau, our first stop.

I just can’t get over how beautiful everything is in New Zealand. It’s so pretty just driving along the roads, with the green meadows and mountains and huge lakes and cute sheep, except the birds here are much more tame and unfortunately I suffered my first bird hit of the trip =(

We had dinner in town and then drove out to Manapouri Lake since it was still early and light. It feels like it takes forever for the sun to set here, and I even questioned if we had adjusted our clocks correctly.

It was a long but lovely day and a nice start to the trip. The photo was taken just outside our motel in a little field. I know the husband makes fun of me, but I quite like rocks. We also have sheep just across the road! Sheep!


Project 365 2012 – Day 321



I was packing up my camera bag/travel bag when I noticed this little guy slip in. Now, he looks pretty damn weird, but the husband loves it. I got it for a birthday ages ago when a friend was working at Ikea. I still have no idea what it is, but the husband enjoys throwing it at me and putting it on the top of doors to fall down on me and scare me. The blue thing and I have a love/hate relationship. Unfortunately I’m trying to pack light, so it cannot come.

I’m so excited; New Zealand here we come!

Project 365 2012 – Day 320

Get Packing

Get Packing

We’re leaving for New Zealand tomorrow and I’m so excited! I love going away and I quite like packing. One thing I don’t like though are all of these security restrictions that don’t make a lot of sense to me, particularly since they don’t even really check it. At least for New Zealand it’s only really just carry on liquid restrictions that I have to worry about, as opposed to taking off my shoes, getting x-rayed, frisked etc. I just need to remember not to wear a hoodie because every time I fly wearing one to keep warm, I get ‘randomly’ tested for explosives.

So, what’s in my carry on? Moisturiser, lip balm, lip stick, mascara, eyeliner, hand sanitiser, and wet wipes.

Project 365 2012 – Day 275

Cookie Mug

I know I like my big mugs, but on occasion I do drink out of normal sized mugs. I got this awesome Cookie Monster mug at Universal Studios in Osaka two years ago. There was so much cool stuff in the gift shop and normally I don’t buy anything at theme parks, but this was too cute to pass up. The husband has a green Oscar the Grouch version. I think it suits our personalities quite well. Him: grumpy and dislikes people. Me: greedy and simple minded and food obsessed. I’m very surprised that these guys survived baggage handling and made it back in one piece!

Project 365 2012 – Day 270

Mount Fuji

It’s been almost two years since we went to Japan. I got this guy from a theme park called Fuji Q, which strangely enough is around Mt Fuji. It’s so cute and happy, like every toy in Japan. You put a face on anything and suddenly it’s cute and I want it. I made the husband walk back to get it. He was a bit annoyed because we were missing out on some serious ride queuing time!

Japan – Matsumoto

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. See the other photos here Tokyo Kyoto Nara Kobe Hiroshima Miyajima Fukuoka Osaka.

Our last stop before heading back to Tokyo was Matsumoto, which is a town in the Nagano region. It was so pretty there and the hotel we stayed at had a rooftop onsen, which was lovely to sit in while it was raining after a day of walking around. We also tried raw horse meat, which tasted just like beef.

This is the last of my Japan series. When I got home I realised that most of the more interesting photos were on my phone because I didn’t want to seem rude, and also sometimes I was too busy taking in the sights and of course eating. I know there are so many places on my list to travel to, but I’d go back to Japan in an instant. I loved the people, the sights, the culture, public transport, and of course the food.

Pretty river. Love how green the city was

Pretty garden

Random shrine we happened to come across

Matsumoto castle

View from inside Matsumoto castle

Hidden area between the floors of the castle

View from the top floor of the castle

View down from Matsumoto castle

Outside Matsumoto castle

Moat surrounding Matsumoto castle

Japan – Osaka

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. Osaka was probably one of my favourite places, and it had particularly delicious food. Loved the freshly made takoyaki and okonomiyaki there. There was so much of the city to explore and eat through. I only regret not trying some fugu, but we strangely enough didn’t want to die on our honeymoon!

See our other photos here Tokyo Kyoto Nara Kobe Hiroshima Miyajima Fukuoka.

Crane in the Osaka Aquarium

Crowds at the aquarium

Turtle coming to say hello

Spider crab… which we ate later that day. Just to clarify, not that specific crab

Colourful jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium

Clown fish

Ferris wheel. I had to go on it!

Strange entrance to building in Osaka

Dotonb0ri. My dream food area

Oh yes freshly made takoyaki

More places to eat

Electronic district ‘Den Den’ town

Eating in our hotel room. Delicious!


City at night

Japan – Fukuoka

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. We decided to head south to Fukuoka to go indoor skiing. Unfortunately while the website was still up, the actual place was not and all we saw was an empty lot when we got there. It was disappointing, but we did get to see a lovely city and eat great food, including the best (and cheapest) sushi train I’ve ever been to.

See our other photos here Tokyo Kyoto Nara Kobe Hiroshima Miyajima.

Port of Fukuoka

Port and tower

Some ferries in the port

the canal and city at night


On the bridge at night

City at night


Street food stall

Japan – Miyajima

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. Miyajima is a little island off the coast of Hiroshima. We travelled there by ferry and explored around whilst trying to avoid the hungry (greedy?) deer roaming the island. Admittedly they were much more tame than the ones in Nara. See out other photos here Tokyo Kyoto Nara Kobe Hiroshima.

Oyster farm

Stone wall on Miyajima with the floating Torii gate in the background

Floating Torii gate

Floating Torii gate

Floating Torii gate

Floating Torii gate

Itsukushima Shrine, unfortunately at low tide

Stone lanterns

Cute little town

Maple leaves


Ferry port at sunset

Ferry coming into port

Japan – Hiroshima

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. Hiroshima was an amazing city. There was something so clean and peaceful about it despite its sad history. I’m glad that we stopped by on our Japan trip. See our other photos here Tokyo Kyoto Nara Kobe.

Sculpted hedges at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park cenotaph has the names of all the people killed by the bomb


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park children’s monument surrounded by paper cranes

River with Atomic Bomb Dome in the background

Monument at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Amazing colourful cranes, a symbol of hope

Beautiful trees in the park

Children’s Peace Monument

Children’s monument

Downtown at night

Fairy light tree in downtown Hiroshima

Japan – Kobe

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. We couldn’t go to Japan and not try some Kobe beef, so a day trip to eat the best beef I’ve ever had was in order. It was by far the most expensive meal I’ve ever had, but it was delicious. Unfortunately all the photos I have of the lovely melt in your mouth beef are on my phone, so here are some other photos of what Kobe has to offer. Here are our other photos Tokyo Kyoto Nara.

Downtown Kobe

Lantern at shrine

Wishes at shrine

Going up the cable car of Rokko Mountain. View of the city

Kobe herb garden

Flowers in the greenhouse

Trumpet flower in the greenhouse at Kobe herb garden


Flowers at the Kobe herb garden

Purple flowers

More purple flowers

Instead of getting the cable car, we walked down the mountain. It was worth dodging all the giant spiders to see this waterfall.

Japan – Nara

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. Nara was a lovely little city filled with shrines and crazily hungry deer roaming around. See our other photos here Tokyo Kyoto.

Delicious sashimi brunch

Reflections in the lake, complete with raindrops

Deer just relaxing in the stream

Oh hi there curious deer

Found a heap of deer in the park

Stone lanterns and maple leaves

Stone lanterns


Japan – Kyoto

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. See our Tokyo photos here. Our next stop in Japan was the beautiful city of Kyoto. We had a lot of fun here walking around and seeing the sights. We definitely got ‘shrined-out’ here. There are beautiful shrines with great architecture and tradition, but they’re absolutely everywhere. We also got to go on our first shinkansen (bullet train), which was amazing efficient, like everything in Japan.

Empty Streets


My favourite place in Kyoto was probably the Arashiyama region, which was west of Kyoto and had these beautiful bamboo forests. Wish I got better pics, but there are plenty around already. I just really enjoyed walking around this region.

Arashiyama bamboo grove

Like suckers we walked, but there were lots of rickshaws around for the less able. I like how the driver of this one doubled as photographer. So talented.


Maple Leaves

Bamboo Fence

We also ventured up Mt Arashiyama to the Iwatayama Monkey park.

He’s liking those binoculars

My favourite shrine in Kyoto was the Fushimi Inari shrine. There are so many trails up the mountain that leads to the top with smaller shrines along the way. It’s famous for the torii gates that line the paths and are donated by businesses. We got there late afternoon as the sun was going down and decided to hike all the way up to the top, which was lots of fun, and just a little bit spooky on the way down.  It was particularly scary when we got completely lost, until the husband figured out that the writing on the gates led the way out.

Torii gates

Writing on the gates leading us out!

Kitsune (fox) wishes

Japan – Tokyo

One of my workmates is getting married in October and she’s decided to go to Japan for her honeymoon. We got married in October 2010 and went to Japan for our honeymoon as well. We’ve been talking about it and where my favourite places were to go and it’s brought back wonderful memories.

I’ve dug up some photos for this Japan series. It was about 6 months after I got the DSLR as my engagement present. I wished I had taken more time to get better photos, but there was just so much to do and see.  I can also see that I’ve improved so much since then, but no matter how good photos are, they’ll never replace the images I have in my memory.

Part 1 is of Tokyo. Tokyo was such a bustling city, with amazing things to see where ever I looked. The people were polite and friendly, I never felt unsafe, and the food was just amazing. My first meal in Japan was ramen noodles in Suidobashi and I swear I would fly back in an instant just to eat these noodles again. I miss Japan and would love to go back one day.

The best noodles I’ve ever eaten. So cheap as well

The cutest tea set in our hotel room. I very much enjoyed drinking green tea in the bath after a day of exploring Tokyo.

No Japan trip is complete without sushi! We ate so much and never got sick of it.

Small stone children and pinwheels at a shrine near Tokyo tower. Sad and beautiful.

Pinwheels. I love the colours

Tokyo Tower. The mini Eiffel Tower of Tokyo.

Looking up inside Tokyo Tower

View from Tokyo Tower. The city just goes on forever. It makes Melbourne feel so tiny.

Crossing in Ginza

Wandering the streets. Even though there were so many busy parts, there were lots of lovely quiet streets as well.

Gardens around the Imperial Palace

Love the well groomed trees

More trees

Not sure what these flowers were called but they were all around the Imperial Palace.


Not sure what all the suits were doing standing in the middle of the intersection. Lots of good stuff to eat around there though.

Streets of Mitaka

Residential streets. Looks like it’s straight out of manga or anime.

Cute plaques on the lamp posts outside Ghibli Museum

Wishes at the Meiji Shrine

Wedding at Meiji Shrine

I think these are sake barrels around the Meiji Shrine, but I’m not really sure. Either way they looked interesting.

Giant spider sculpture in Roppongi

Buildings at night

Last look at Tokyo Tower.