Shimizu, Japan

We loved visiting Japan again this year, this time flying into Yokohama on Monday, 15 August to pick up the Diamond Princess for our cruise.

The weather was hot, hot, hot!  Getting off the plane, the heat and humidity hit us and it took a moment or two to realise we were in Japan – not Darwin!  The temperature was in the mid to high 30’s all the time we were there and the humidity was way up there as well.

Woke up Tuesday morning to find ourselves in Shimizu and looking forward to visiting Mt Fuji.  We got as far as the 5th Station at 7,900 feet which involved a 2 hour coach trip.  This is the most popular station and it contains some restaurants as well as some shops for climbers to stock up before heading up to the summit.  We passed a number of people jogging or on bicycles and I had to admire their fitness and dedication.  It’s a long way up!



Waiting for the clouds to clear.  


The view of Mt Fuji from the 5th Station looking up – the view down was obscured by clouds

Then we visited the Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art to see a collection of woodblock printing.  Very interesting exhibition of the works of Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) which ranged from beautiful landscapes to some humorous caricatures.


We took this photo before we found out there were no photos allowed!  Here is the link to see some of the landscape blocks.  It is a small museum  that we found very interesting, with the woodblock process explained in the foyer and the opportunity to try it for yourself.








Home Away From Home

This was our home for 9 days recently when we flew to Yokohama to board the beautiful Diamond Princess for our Asian cruise.

Click here to see the amenities and features.  As this was a short cruise we decided not to go for an oceanview stateroom but for an interior stateroom instead, which was very comfortable and quite spacious enough for us.  We have found in the past that the expense of a balcony stateroom was wasted on us.  I guess it all depends on how much time you want to spend there;  for us it is not much.  There was so much going on around the ship, we didn’t want to miss a thing!

Our first time on a such a big ship and on this cruise there were 3,000 passengers plus crew.  We were off seeing the sights of Japan most days, so there were a few areas of the ship that we didn’t have time to explore, but we had a great time and look forward to travelling on her again sometime.


Japan and Korea

Time to dust off the passports once again for another trip to Japan.  We enjoyed visiting there so much earlier in the year that we have decided to do a short vacation and fly out on 14 August to Yokohama, where we will board the Diamond Princess for a 10 day cruise to several Japanese and Korean ports and then fly home on 25 August.


This is our itinerary.   Highlights include an excursion to Mt Fuji (no, not climbing it ourselves, we will take the easy way!) and a Korean Festival with a fireworks display.  Also looking forward to boarding a ship that we haven’t been on before, which will be the biggest so far.  Getting excited!

Quick Stitches

Cross stich Owl

Owl’s Teacup

Cross stitch flower (2)Cross stitch flower


Here are some little cross stitches that I have finished recently.  They were free kits with a couple of craft orders.

You would think that, being small, they would be great little projects for beginners to try.  But the owl had quarter stitches, half stitches and French knots while the flowers were stitched with one strand over 18-count!

Cross stitch Owl card

I made up the owl into a quick little card so that I could write a note to a friend.  As for the flowers, they are small enough to fray the edges and mount as patches on the front of greeting cards.  Or maybe use them on a scrapbook page.  Any other ideas?