Ghibli Museum and Kichijoji

Slowly but surely I am getting through the posts from our March trip to Japan.

One of the best days of this trip had to be the day we went to the Ghibli Museum, followed by a stroll through Inokashira park and Kichijoji. I have been to Ghibli Museum a couple of times before, but had never made it to Inokashira Park and Kichijoji before, which I now realise what a huge shame that is because I LOVED both.

Anyway, as always, the Ghibli Museum was great, and G really enjoyed all the displays. I even got to have the exclusive Ghibli Museum beer while I was there! If you want to go to the Ghibli Museum on your Japan trip, start planning early as you need to book tickets in advance and can't buy them when you get there!

Ghibli Museum beer
This beer is delicious and only available for purchase at the Ghibli Museum

After the museum, we grabbed some lunch from the Lawson across the road from the museum and then walked through Inokashira park to Kichijoji. There were lots of Sakura trees already in bloom in the park, which of course made me happy, and we stopped by the pond and had a cheeky chu hai each while snacking on our lunch. Even though it was chilly, it was still so lovely, and I will definitely head back to Inokashira Park next time I find myself in Japan!

Sakura in Inokashira Park
So fluffy!

Swan boats for hire oin Inokashira park
Seriously, does it get any more picturesque than this??

Swan boars in Inokashira Park
After the park, we wandered around Kichijoji and bought some cute things on the tourist street, then spent a good amount of time in the Kichijoji Uniqlo before calling it a day.

Kamakura - Giant Buddha and Hasedera

About a month ago we were lucky enough to have a short trip back to Japan. It had been almost 2 years since we moved back to Melbourne from Okinawa, and as always, I never stop missing Japan.

This trip, we kept short, only 8 days so just centered ourselves in Tokyo and hung around there. It was such a great decision because we found ourselves the perfect Airbnb in Shibuya and although we walked a ton everyday, we managed to get really comfortable long sleeps in at night so the holiday was incredibly relaxing. I swear i was getting 10 hours a night, which basically hasn't happened in about 20 years!

Once thing I did notice, however, when we were looking for a place to stay, is that since the Japanese government regulated Airbnb and required people to get a licence before they can let an apartment, the number and variety of places is much less, as well as being more expensive! We ended up finding a place on Homeaway which was cheaper than anything we saw on Airbnb, but it felt like slim pickings compared to a few years ago. This is the place we stayed at, which I would definitely recommend for the bed alone. It was probably the most comfortable bed i've ever slept in!

Anyway, on to our adventures. Seeing as both H and G had never been there before, we decided to head to Kamakura for a day trip. We splurged and got Green Car tickets and took the short (1 hour) trip from Shibuya to Kamakura. Although i've been to Kamakura numerous times, I had never been to see the giant Buddha, so we headed there first. After checking that out, we wanderd to Hasedera, which has to be one of my favourite temples (aren't they all). It had heaps to see, lots of gorgeous blossoms out, and to top it off, there was a buddhist vegan restaurant at the top!

Giant Buddha Daibutsu Kamakura

Entrance to Hasedera

The restaurant at Hasedera

Vegan restaurant at Hase-Dera Kamakura

Plum blossoms at Hase Dera

McLaren Vale Wineries

A couple of months ago, my lady gave me an awesome birthday present! A trip to South Australia to visit the wine region. Neither of us had ever been to Adelaide or South Australia, so it was exciting to go somewhere new, and also get to try some of my favourite wines in their natural habitat!

We stayed in Adelaide, but hired a car and set out for McLaren Vale stopping first at Paxton Wines, which was the perfect start to the day. They are organic and biodynamic winery and the wines are so delicious! The staff there were so down to earth and lovely.

Next we headed to Angove, which is another winery with some organic wines. We seemed to be avoiding the rain and clouds all day, and when we arrived at Angove it was sunny and gorgeous. Again, the wines were so goo!

Finally we headed to the motherland, Wirra Wirra. This is one of the first wines H and I bonded over and she introduced me to. It was so great to visit their winery. We also had lunch at Harry's Deli, which I would definitely recommend if you're in the area.

When we were trying to decide whether to visit the Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale while we were in Adelaide, it was a really difficult decision, but i'm really glad we decided to go with McLaren Vale. It's home to some of our favourite wineries, it was close to Adelaide, and absolutely gorgeous! Next time I can't wait to check out the Barossa.

Paxton Wines

Angove winery in McLaren Vale has a great range of wines including some organic options.

The amazing array of goods from Jamface in Adelaide
It was sooo hard to choose from Jamface!
Jamface by Poh is at Adelaide Farmers market every sunday and has a drool-worthy display of cakes and treats, making it almost impossible to choose what to get!

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McLaren Vale in South Australia is a short drive from Adelaide and the perfect place for a day trip, tasting wines and eating delicious food!