Sunday, 26 April 2020

Rules to follow when visiting Japanese onsen

1. Leave everything in your locker (even slippers). You must be naked.

2. Take a small towel (for modesty, moving from bath to bath to changeroom).

3. Wash thoroughly, sitting on the stool or shower area before entering bath. Take your time. Rinse thoroughly.

4. The personal towel must not be dropped into the water (the bath water must be kept pristine). Fold it and place it on your head or leave it close to you on the side of bath.

5. Do not put your head/hair under the water.

6. No tattoos. For centuries tattoos have been associated with criminality. There are only a few bathhouses that allow tattoos in Japan. Small tattoos - you might get away with covering with a bandage.

7. Relax, take your time, don't raise your voice.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Kagoshima, Japan - a unique city

I can't think of many cities with an active volcano so close by. Sakurajima is 4 km from the CBD.
Kagoshima is 4 hours by direct shinkansen from Shin-Osaka.

The easiest way to tour the volcanic area is to buy a One Day Pass, then hop on, hop off the sights, buses come every 30 minutes. Ticket can be bought on the bus (the bus stop is next to the ferry terminal on the Sakurajima side). The pass includes a discount for the returning ferry to Kagoshima.
Take the scenic coastal train to Ibusuki hot springs area (50 minutes from city). This beautifully restored train is popular, so reserve seats with at JR ticket offices.
Head north to Kirishima National Park (Yoshimatsu is the last stop)

Thursday, 23 January 2020

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

The State Library is located on the corner of La Trobe and Swanston Street, Melbourne.
The restoration of Queen's Hall was completed late 2019. Before you visit the magnificent Reading Room and dome, turn right at the main staircase to admire Queen's Hall. Free admission.
Queen's Hall
Reading Room/Dome
There are exhibitions on Levels 4 and 5. View of the dome, Level 6