HOKAY! For anyone wanting to travel the route lesser known to get to Honshu, there is a ferry from Tomakomai to Oarai outside Tokyo called MOL Ferry Co. It's not the cheapest option at ¥9050, but if you take into account that's your accommodation for the night too it's not too shabby. AND, in my opinion, it's all about the travel and the destination is an added bonus.
An added woohoo is the ONBOARD ONSEN with ocean view. Yep thats right, you can steam, bathe and relax while gazing sleepily out the window at the waves cruising by. Sailing cattle class like a boss. If that wasn't cool enough, I went a little notch higher to heaven when I found the free washing machine and dryer- meaning you can soak, while washing your bits and bobs to jump fresh and so clean into them after chill-axing. Japan: you rock my world.
There is an onboard dining hall where upon entry you buy your ticket by vending machine for lunch, dinner or breakfast, or a combination. Then you present this little piece of paper to the lady standing right next to the machine and proceed on in to try all sorts of Japanese delights to the backing soundtrack of Disney's greatest hits on piano.
After arriving in Oarai, I continued my hitch-hiking excursions and met a man who took me to meet his brother in Ibaraki, the airforce capital of Japan; Super spoilt & treated to local delights like Ibaraki yoghurt and taken to see the local shops and cool sites- I am overwhelmed by peoples generosity. From Ibaraki it was ¥1000 to Tokyo on a super comfy bus from Ibaraki airport where we spent an hour watching the fighter jets take off and land -YAY!! Planes!. With the grand Tokyo Station up for challenge as the next destination, this more comfortable option got the tick.
TOKYO!: Immersed in Japanese life with Mai and her two beautiful daughters Kurena and Minami
The Tokyo subway is seriously efficient and super easy to navigate, once you've got the basics sorted! LOL. With a change needed at Kokumbunji from JR lines to local, a bit of interpretive dance was needed with the ticket masters to navigate a complicated wee diagram and local ticket purchase machine- but I got there. Thank god for laughter- and knowing how to apologise in 日本語.. they must have thought- bloody Gaijin eeesshh!..
Below are photos of the phenomenal art exhibits I have attended and the beauty in the everyday. I was in awe of the Jakuchu and Buson's haiku and literati paintings from the 1700's, exhibited at the Suntory Museum of Art in Roppongi; thrilled to catch the Gabriel Orozco exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Koto and visit 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT which has an exhibit on at the moment about measurement. This is organised by the THE MIYAKE ISSEY FOUNDATION and was a delight in presentation as well as content.
It was Kurena's Birthday the day I arrived- I super excited and honoured to whip up a cake. The Usagi ウサギ (bunny) is me- the girls have donned me this mascot for my love of rabbits and the ウサギ in my tattoo... the resemblance is really quite striking don't you agree?!