24 Feb
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (105 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for November, 2015

15 November 2015

Beautiful Japan

Japan holds many beautiful things. Coming in the autumn as we did, we were treated to some of the loveliest autumn colours in the mountains. But the Japanese also do small things beautifully, like their food, much of which is presented with infinite care. Related Images:

15 November 2015

Quirky Japan

We’ve never been anywhere so similar to Britain in modernity but so utterly different in culture and detail. Vive la difference! Related Images:

15 November 2015

Tokyo’d out

20 October 2015 Last day of the holiday, and I’m Tokyo’d out. There’s too much concrete and glass here for me to really love this city. Worth a visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here. It may not have helped that we spent much of today shopping. All through the holiday we’ve dodged doing » » »

15 November 2015

Endless fish

19 October 2015 Today we visited the Tsukiji market, the famous fish market only a few minutes from the very heart of Tokyo. It is unbelievably vast, impossible to imagine just how many tons of fish pass through the huge space every day. Partly outside, partly undercover, wet concrete underfoot, trucks and trolleys whizzing about, » » »

15 November 2015

Pavement pounding

18 October 2015 Today we explored some Tokyo neighbourhoods. Many Tokyo neighbourhoods. And since we didn’t take a single metro until the very end of the day, our feet have basically been worn away to flat, leathery dead things. Or so it feels. One invaluable resource in Japan for the weary explorer is… the drinks » » »

8 November 2015


17 October 2015 Today: explored Matsumoto castle, wandered around the couple of interesting corners of Matsumoto, jumped on the train, arrived in Tokyo just after dark, taxi to our hotel, met up with Tim and Vanessa again, walked out into the bright lights of Ginza, found a restaurant, went back to the hotel for a » » »

7 November 2015

Japanese Shrew Mole

16 October 2015 So we’re leaving Kamikochi on the bus that will take us back to our car, and reflecting that we had been naively thinking of this little slice of wilderness in the middle of our holiday as a mini wildlife expedition. In the whole two weeks so far we’ve seen semi-wild deer ambling » » »

7 November 2015

Kamikochi in Autumn

15 October 2015 Today we really got the Autumn colours full in the face, whole mountainsides, whole landscapes in fact carpeted in a tapestry mixture of oranges, reds, golds, greens and browns. Frustratingly there were very few places to pull over for a photo – this seemed quite remiss from a nation so keen on » » »

7 November 2015

The day of gifts

14 October 2015 Narai and Takayama are two similar but contrasting places. The first is an old village on the Kiso Valley road, with one long main street that looks much as it would have done hundreds of years ago. They’ve even banished the snaking nests of overhead wires that hang over most Japanese towns. » » »

7 November 2015

Oh, Tori!

12 October 2015 Today we flew by bullet train back across the country to Miyajima, an island just off the coast from Hiroshima. The most memorable thing about the shinkansen bullet trains isn’t the speed, as that’s quite hard to notice from the inside (and besides, I’m sure the difference between shinkansen and UK trains » » »

7 November 2015


10 October 2015 It’s surprising that the Japanese, who have taken toilet seat technology to a level not even dreamed of in other countries, also have some toilet facilities (in cheap restaurants or temples) that still have the eastern squat toilet. There seem to be plenty of other instances of this – where Japan seems » » »

6 November 2015

Kumamon! Kumamon everywhere!

10 October 2015 Kumamoto and all the lands surrounding are completely overrun with Kumamon. There are Kumamon absolutely everywhere. In shops, on buses, at the roadside, in the vending machines, in cafes, at beauty spots, everywhere. Kumamon? Kumamon is the cheerful mascot for the city and prefecture of Kumamoto. He’s what is known as a » » »

3 November 2015

And then it exploded

8 October 2015 We hired our car today and headed off into the Kyushu countryside. This proved a tiny bit trickier than expected, as the SatNav that came with the car was entirely in Japanese. But with luck and persistence we found the option that allows you to enter a phone number (Japan has a » » »

3 November 2015

Packed into Himeji-jo

7 October 2015 Today we moved on to Kyushu, but broke the day at the city of Himeji, where a huge fortress is to be found. From afar it looks like a delicate construction, floating white and graceful above the trees; more like an impressive Japanese mansion than a castle. Once you get up close, » » »

3 November 2015

Kimonos everywhere

6 October 2015 In Kyoto there’s one common sight that I never expected, and that is the number of ladies skittling around in traditional kimonos! Traditional national costumes usually being reserved for folk museums and cheesy tourist restaurants. Now, Kyoto is the traditional home of the geisha, and we certainly saw a handful of these » » »

3 November 2015

The thousand tori

5 October 2015 Arashiyama is where Kyoto washes up against the forested mountains to the west, and it is home to many temples. Having trickled our way out there on a local train that rumbled through almost endless suburbs, we spent most of our time at the UNESCO-listed Tenryuji, with beautiful gardens that were originally » » »

3 November 2015

Nara, town of deer

4 October 2015 Anyone who visits Nara will always indelibly associate it with deer. The numerous semi-wild deer that roam the wooded and grassy hills where all the temples sit are completely addicted to the little biscuits sold to tourist in packets on the street. Not only are they more fearless than a goat at » » »

3 November 2015

Touchdown in Japan

3 October 2015 So we’ve landed in Japan, Osaka airport. And after a huge long day of travel, including our first experience of Japanese trains to get us to Kyoto, I’ve only got the energy to offer up a few first impressions… They love using cartoon characters here, on everything from signs on loo seats » » »