Tag Archives: Golden Week

ten minutes hate is on holiday

Feeling very lucky and grateful to all those who have fought for my right to kick back and enjoy time away from work.

If you are looking for holiday reading material, my recommendation is here.

Back soon!

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Golden Week Holiday snaps 2: Tokyo

Back in the capital from Kyoto, the continuing holiday presented an opportunity for a stroll from Sendagi to Ueno, inspired by the splendid book Little Adventures in Tokyo by Rick Kennedy.

The wandering began here:

The route took in quite a few shrines:

As well as shrines, the neighbourhood was full of beautiful houses and gardens:

The last house has hung koinobori, the koi carp banners, for Children’s Day which is celebrated on 5 May (the day of the walk).  There were lots of banners around, most dwarfed by these huge ones hanging outside the International Library of Children’s Literature in Ueno:

And having reached Ueno, the stroll ended – as all good wanderings should – with tea and cake before catching the train home.

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Golden Week Holiday snaps 1: Kyoto

Go to both Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, I was told.  See which one you prefer.

It’s no easy choice.  I mean, the gold temple (Kinkaku-ji) is pretty:

Not to mention, popular:

Yet in spite of its clamour for attention, I think it slightly loses out in my affections to Ginkaku-ji (also known as the silver one).  I loved the peaceful gardens and views across the city.

See what you think and let me know…

Gorgeous.  I will be back.


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Japan faces Golden Week dilemma

What is the correct response when a student offers you potentially radioactive peach sponge cake?

Despite warnings of an 80% drop in tourist numbers this year, one of my students, a lovely and very generous lady, drove for hours and sat in huge traffic jams to visit the famous 1,000 year old cherry trees of Miharu.  They are located just 30 kilometres away from the damaged nuclear power plant.  When asked if she felt afraid, she laughed and said not at all, instead she felt it was her duty to support the people of Fukushima.  She had brought us all cake as a gift from her trip.

As the Golden Week holiday approached, there was much soul-searching as to whether to holiday or not to holiday.  People are torn between wanting to support the tourism industry and the Japanese economy, and the sensitivities of enjoying holidays when others in the country are living in emergency shelters.  One way to resolve these competing urges has been to arrange travel in order to help in Tohoku, with large numbers of volunteers heading north this week.  I am hoping to do the same later in the year, but for now, will be doing my duty in the tourism sites and retail outlets of Kyoto.

So what do you do when a student offers you cake from 30 kilometres south of Fukushima?


I ate it and can report that it was delicious! 

ten minutes hate wishes you a happy Golden Week, however you decide to spend it.

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