Nagoya, Japan

Tuesday, 23 August – Whether or not you drive a Toyota, you will likely know Nagoya as its home city – and today we visited the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, a joint operation by Toyota Group companies.  It was established at the site of the Headquarters Plant of the former Toyoda Spinning & Weaving Co. Ltd, where the group began.


Such an interesting display over a huge area, with a lot of interactive features so you understand how everything works.  You could easily spend a day here.  I thought it was really fascinating to see the robotics at work and we had to keep our eyes on the time.

Adjoining the automobile pavilion was the textile machinery pavilion.  It houses the original loom invented in 1906 by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota Group.  There were also moving exhibits in this section too, but we spent so much of our time in the auto pavilion, we only had time for a quick look here.


If we ever visit Nagoya again, we will definitely go back to this museum, which surprised me as I had expected to feel bored looking at car parts!

We also visited Nagoya Castle.  Much of it was destroyed during WWII and has since been rebuilt.  We took the elevator to the 5th floor and took the stairs down where there was access to each floor with various replicas and artificats.


Next morning we arrived back in Yokohama, ready to depart for the airport and our trip home.  Great cruise, beautiful ship.  10/10 go to the staff, entertainment, food and all the sights that we enjoyed.  What more could you ask for?




At Sea

Monday, 22 August – A sea day at last – time to relax and enjoy life on board the Diamond Princess.  That’s what we love about cruising, you can choose to do nothing, or be busy all day.


I don’t know how anyone could say they were bored (onboard!) – just on this one day the following choices were available:

Zumba, stretch class, 5 different dance classes, shopping, movies, trivia, jewellery presentation, acupuncture talk, culinary demonstration, ukulele class, art seminar, towel folding demonstration, wine club, drawing class, bingo, Japanese language class, ice carving demonstration, shuffleboard tournament, carpet bowls, English language lesson, calligraphy class – and that was just what was on offer until afternoon tea time!!!  Not forgetting to fit in lunch somewhere as well.

Is there time for a swim and spa, a walk around the deck, mini golf, the gym or to grab a book from the library?  Go online in the Internet Centre or visit the Beauty Salon?  aaahhhhhhh!!!!!!

Come evening, there is dinner of course, and all the entertainment starts up.  The casino is in full swing, there are shows, cocktails, gameshows, dancing and music in every bar, club and lounge.  Movies under the stars is something we enjoy – on a lovely evening watching a movie on a huge screen on the top deck under the stars, settled on deck chairs with pillow and rug and being waited on with popcorn and drinks – perfect!

Busan, South Korea

Sunday, 21 August saw us back in Busan, having been there previously last March.  It was starting to look quite familiar!





We began the day with a trip through the magnificent countryside to the serene Beomeosa Temple, one of South Korea’s largest temples, which dates back to 678 A.D.

Then on to the Jagalchi Fish Market, established by women peddlers during the Korean War when there weren’t a lot of men around to take care of business.  I was in two minds about this;  on one hand I was curious to see this world famous fish market and the array of seafood.  On the other hand, seeing lots of tanks probably overcrowded with fish just keeping them alive and fresh really wasn’t something that I was looking forward to seeing.

I have to say that when we arrived at the building, which housed all the tanks and restaurants,  to find that it was closed to the public that day, I did feel a bit relieved.  However, there were stalls set up next to the building and we went there instead, wandering up and down many alleys of market stalls covered with umbrellas, with every flat surface packed with fish of every type and colourful baskets of shellfish.


We were so engrossed in taking photos and looking at the sights that we suddenly realised we were lost and it took us several minutes before we got our bearings and found our way out to the main road.

There we discovered the International Market (Gukje Market) across the road.  Interesting, lots of street food and small souvenirs.  So we were able to spend a little while away from the crowded fish market enjoying a stroll around the block before boarding our coach once more to take us back to the ship.  Nice day.



Saturday, 20 August – Arimura Lava Lookout was our destination and the ferry took our coach on the 15 minute ride to the island.  Very nice views of Sakurajima, one of Japan’s  most active volcanoes.



Interesting sculptural shapes formed in the rocks



People on the island have built lava shelters and we were told that bags of volcanic dust are collected from the residents twice a week and made into a type of stone used in souvenirs.  Because of the dust, laundry cannot be hung outside so special drying rooms are set up in the houses.  Nice to visit but I don’t think I would like to live there!


Then we visited Senganen Garden (Iso Garden)  which was constructed in 1658.  Such a variety of plants and trees interspersed with small ponds, streams, shrines and a bamboo grove. Very peaceful.


As we were making our way to the Shoko Shuseikan Museum we came across a demonstration of swordsmanship skills, reflecting the feudal history of the area.  Very impressive!







Friday, 19 August – We boarded the coach for a drive to Usa City where we visited the Usa Jingu Shrine, a Japanese National Treasure.  Very lovely architecture and gardens, but it was also very hot that day as we made our way up the many steps that Shinto shrines always seem to find necessary.  We were pleased we packed plenty of water!

Then back to Beppu for a visit to the main attraction, Jigoku Meguri, the “Boiling Hell” hot springs.  They are named that way because each spring seems to depict an image from hell.  We expolored two of them, Chinoike (Blood) Jigoku with its deep crimson colour and Onlishibozu Jigoku – mud bubbles, which emerge from boiling mud pools and look like the shaven heads of monks.



This was fun – no one told me that the water in the spring was about 40oC!!! It took me several minutes, but I did it! ( Obviously not looking too relaxed, because it was HOT!!!)