Now while we are renting an old house in the valley, which is in a pretty built up area and doesn't get much sun. It is good to dream about where we might buy a house if we eventually sell our house in Australia and buy one here. Our friend Yuko invited us over to her place for morning tea, it's in an area she calls “Nagaoka Tibet”. The apartment block (or mansions as they are called here) is free standing not crowded in by other buildings and gets plenty of sun. Then there's the view out the back windows of all the mansions which can be seen in this photo. Actually because this place is quite far from the train station and the main town centre, it's not too expensive to buy a place out here. While I probably wouldn't want to live in Japanese style mansion, I did notice as I was riding around the area there's lots of land out here. So, maybe one day I can have a little cottage which gets plenty of sun and a nice veggie patchin the yard. OK so it's good to dream once in a while. Definitely an inspirational place for the artistic pursuits.
Waste of Time and Money?
Ritsuko and I went all the way to Osaka on this cold and wet day, all we brought back was this one photo! It cost us 540yen each one way, so the total cost was 2160yen and about 4 hours of our time. You see one of the things that was in the Fedex box was Ritsuko's iMac and since the built-in power supply was rated at 100-240V all I need is do was to replace the power cord from the Australia one to a Japanese one. But do you think the folks at the Apple Store in Osaka would sell me a Japanese power cord? No, No, No. I said what if someone broke their power cord couldn't they get a new one. No, they have to send the computer for repairs... Frustration... I ended up going down to an electrical store and buying a PC power cord which fits and works. It just doesn't have the extra safe locking disk and the colour doesn't match. Why I couldn't just use an adapter from Australian to Japanese power plugs is that all of the adapters are only for two pronged plugs, I've never seen one for a three pronged plug (like the iMacs one), because 3 pronged power sockets are rare in Japan, but common in Australia. BTW the way the cost of the PC power cord was only 640yen, I'm sure even if Apple had sold me the part it would have been like 3000yen... Apples still rock though... It wasn't a total loss because we had lunch at MOS Burger in Osaka, although there are closer MOS Burger stores than going all the way to Osaka... I've also found out that lots of places sell Apple gear in Japan and I don't need to go all the way to the Apple Store in Osaka.
More Boxes Arrive
Out of the 16 boxes we sent these 4 arrived second, these are the airfreight boxes. The first box to arrive was my Fedex box, more about what that contained in later entries. These four boxes contained quite a few clothes which was a relief after only having about three sets of clothes to wear! They also contained about half the remnant of my DVD collection (most of the original collection was sold of or given away before I left). Unfortunately I didn't put any CDs in the airfreight, they all went in the sea-freight. Also most of my warm winter clothing was also in the sea-freight, however these boxes did have some of the newer winter gear I bought prior to leaving for Japan. Well once we got these four boxes it was a bit of a task finding space for everything in the much smaller house we are living in here compared with Australia. We wondered how we would manage when the sea-freight arrived...
Autumn in Japan
Well autumn had truly come to Japan and change was in the air... Unfortunately I didn't really know how deep red these maples go at the time that I took this photo. Anyway a few weeks later I got much better photos... Anyway this photo was taken during an open day at the Emperors Palace in Kyoto which happened on the first week came here... Once I finally get my Internet connection on the 13th of January 2009! Look forward to a gallery of photos from the Emperors Palace open day, plus heaps of Nagaokakyo (the place where we live), plenty more from Perth to come (my old home town), plus a few more photos of old holidays... Thanks for your continued support...
Our babies in their new home
Well we couldn't just leave our babies in Perth, so arranged for them to join us in Japan. They arrived two days after we did because they had to come on a direct flight from Perth to Japan to avoid a long quarantine period.
We picked up the cats from the airport on the same day that we moved into our rental place. It wasn't and easy task by any means. Firstly we don't have a car and the airport is about 2 hours drive away or 1 hour on the train, but we can't bring the cats on the train. Fortunately our friend offered to help us as long as we paid the road tolls. It cost over $70 AUD in tolls just to get there. Then we spent two hours chasing rubber stamps from the Cargo Company, Customs and Quarantine all around a massive freight terminal with fork lifts wizzing around everywhere. However they didn't have to spend any time in Quarantine in Japan, since Japan trusts Australia's good Quarantine laws. So it has been a huge blessing to have the cats with us. We're sure we'd get a lot more homesick if we hadn't brought them.
The cats have also been a blessing to others when they come and visit our house and people can spend time with them.
19/12/2008 P.S. Still no internet access to my home, will comment on other peoples photos once I get it.