Open House Melbourne 2012

I’ve wanted to do Open House Melbourne for a while, but every year I kept forgetting. This year I remembered and dragged along the husband and a couple of friends. Open House Melbourne  “is a not-for-profit association that runs annual events providing the public a free and rare opportunity to discover a hidden wealth of architectural, engineering and historic buildings nestled around the city.”

It was a great opportunity to explore Melbourne and take photos of course. It was a shame that it was so cold and rainy, but it was still a fun day. I’m looking forward to next year’s event because there are so many places that I didn’t know about that I’d love to see. There are amazing photos on Flickr for the photo competition.

I am now much more inspired to head into the city and appreciate all that Melbourne has to offer. I think that often we take the granted the city we live in.

Here’s my selection for the day. Beware there are a heap of photos.

Dulux dog. I want one!

Federation Square pavement

Federation Square

Lamp outside St Paul’s Cathedral

Inside St Paul’s Cathedral

Organ pipes at St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

Eagle podium at St Paul’s Cathedral

Candles St Paul’s Cathedral

Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Looks delicious

Block Arcade

Orchids in the Block Arcade

Myer Mural Hall set up for high tea

Old money chutes in Myer

View of construction site of the old Myer

My friend’s awesome shoes. Love the laces

Lyons Office architecture firm. Concept model layout of the office space.

Lyons Office architecture firm. Concept models

Lyons Office. Cool way to keep cords neat and organised. Looks like a spine.

Lyons Office. Sample swatches

More swatches. Love the colours and patterns

Lyons Office

Lobby of the Lyons Office building. Wall texture

Market Lane

Lunch break at Ito Cafe.

Spring Street

Steps of Parliament House

Outside Parliament House. Popular wedding photo shoot location

Bourke Street

The Hotel Windsor

Spring Street

Spider brooches in the Windsor Hotel

More spiders

Lighting in the lobby of the Windsor Hotel

Spring Street

Books inside the Old Treasury Building

Gold bars in the Old Treasury Building

Collins Place

Looking up at some random buildings

Colourful building

Stopping for frozen yoghurt at Cacao Green. Yes it was cold, but it was yum

Blueberry waffles at Cacao Green

Cool bookshelf and wood panelling at Cacao Green

State Library of Victoria reading room

State Library of Victoria reading room

State Library of Victoria reading room

State Library of Victoria reading room

State Library of Victoria reading room ceiling

State Library of Victoria stairs

Swanston Street outside the State Library of Victoria

Swanston Street

Garden bed outside Hamer Hall

Flower sculpture outside Hamer Hall


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 – 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.

Wandering through my street

We were forced to move a few months ago because our landlord was being completely unreasonable. At the time it felt like a bit much and I had just gotten used to being there, it was close to the train station and shops, and we had just gotten it the way we liked it. However, it was probably a blessing in disguise because our new place is in a beautiful tree-lined street and while it is a bit of a walk to the station, the place itself is bigger and feels more like a home, as opposed to living in a nice apartment where everything looked good superficially but didn’t have much else to it.

There are lots of lovely things to take photos of. I still feel a bit self-conscious carrying my camera around in this extremely PC world with families and children and privacy issues, like I’d be doing something wrong by taking photos out the front of people’s houses, but I guess I just have to get over that in order to improve as my own yard doesn’t have a lot of plant life.

These photos were all taken during August with the exception of the first two.

In my driveway. The pretty pink petals fall all over my car.

This tree just refuses to lose its leaves. It's almost Spring silly tree!

Too cold and not sunny enough to open up its little petals.

Lonely little dandelion.

Cherry blossom... or at least some sort of fruit blossom. I am obviously not a botanist!

You know it's August when these little guys start to blossom.

I know the sky is completely blown out, but I like the dreamlike quality of this one.

I know they're weeds but I just love dandelions. It's such a wonderful way to distribute seeds far far away.