Trip to Japan.

After not seeing my older brother in person for nearly two years, on the 7th of April 2019 i went on the plane to Japan. After arriving there  i was on the bus too the first hotel after having a night sleeps and breakfast in the morning i knew the holiday has just begun…

Day One

Hoping to see some cherry blossom I went to park in Toyko, in fact the disappointing news they was none at all but did see some lovely Azaleas. Afterwards me and my rest of my family looked around some shops whiles my brother went off to sort things out, unexpectedly finding a temple behind it was a Buddhist graveyard. In the evening I had Yakiniku which was delightful before moving on to a bar where i had two cocktails.

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Azaleas in the park.
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Buddhist temple.
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Cocktail.

 

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Yakiniku.

 

 

 

Day Two

Our second day in Toyko, having breakfast in a lovely cafe having Avocado and Prawn sandwich with a Strawberry and Acai smoothie. Headed of too the fish market then sharing some fish with my family which include Tuna, Salmon and sea Urchin. Shortly after finishing the fish market we ended up Handdrip Cafe, where i had coffee and a slice of cake. Across the road was a temple which we looked around before heading off to TeamLab art installation so after traveling on trains for a while we got there but decide to go into the Toyko motor show instead of waiting 40 minutes in the cold and wet weather. The motor show had loads of different cars you could sit, a virtual reality driving test as well a new designed car which may or may not come out in the future. Finally the line for the art  installation died down so after buying the tickets we didn’t have to wait look at all, the art installation itself was amazing very good experience seeing the art such as flowers animals moving on the floor and walls. Yakitori was  the meal that night with warm Sake both of which were enjoyable and my first trying theses things.

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Fish market.
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Motor show.

 

 

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Sake.
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Art installation.

 

 

Day Three 

Waking up eating pasta in the morning with Peach pink lemonade in the lovely cafe we were yesterday. The emperor palace the garden with some beautiful Rhododendron, Iris, Orange trees, waterfall and some impressive bamboo, we also saw some Cherry blossom which added the list of lovely features. We walked around for a bit seeing some pricey shops on the way before stopping in a Italian cafe for a coffee and a slice of cake, then headed for time square  which was very busy not surprising one bit. Walked into the tower records shop which has like seven floors, as we were heading for the exit a Korean band releasing a new album they did call us over, we decide not too but saw one of the band members getting interview outside later on. Went into a restaurant had Dumpling and Ramen.

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Pasta.
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Bamboo called Nabeshimana.
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Rhododendron
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Dumplings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Four

Leaving our hotel in Toyko next stop Yokohama, we went on the train back to time square dropping the bags off at the coins locker at the station. Unfortunately there wasn’t a locker big enough for my suitcase so I had to wheel it around but oh well wasn’t that bad. Went too L’Occitane for a  section of cakes by a famous French pastry chef plus a coffee, walked around for a bit before having lunch i picked Tuna it came with a very soup and other bits. After the bag were picked up hopped on the train the Yokohama to find the place we were staying, everyone had a little rest explore around the apartment before going for something to eat. This time it was sushi I could see the chef making all the sushi, out of one piece of cucumber he made it look like a tree which he gave me also gave me two Japaneses style mugs as i told him about my birthday which was later on in the week. 

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Cakes.

                                                                                                         

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Cucumber tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuna.

 

 

Day Five

In Yokohama went to an island just off Yokohama, really nice place. Sat out on deck chair over looking the sea with a beer, Mount Fuji was in sight you could also see parts of the city on the other side of the sea. Weather was lovely we walked up a small street then walked up too the temple, lovely views as you got higher higher. Saw a street performer as well as Eagles, There was a small but lovely little garden there too. Met up with my brother’s friend we all went to Chinatown which was very nice then went into all you can eat restaurant, Chicken’s feet was one more interesting thing that was order. 

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Chinese food.
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Pansy.

 

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A view of the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Six 

All ready and set to leave Yokohama for Kyoto but first we all went to a market. Lots of different shops lovely area, I try Takoyaki which was delicious wonder around in a bit more seeing a cat cafe before heading into Handdrip cafe. Having something to eat and drink before catching the bullet train to Kyoto on the way too Kyoto we saw  Mount Fuji again. Finally made it too the apartment a little after 2 hours on the train a little nosey around then we were ready too. Found a local food place had some lovely dishes one of them being fired burdock, the waiter would Shout out the order to chefs they would replied motivating each other as they work.     

 

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Horse mackerel.

 

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Pancake in Handdrip cafe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Seven 

Our first full day in Kyoto we explored the old town of Kyoto, which was enjoyable as i got see the old traditional housing. We went into a small garden full of different tree but some old temples as well were in it, I also got too see some Japaneses gardeners doing some pruning outside. Later on we headed to a temple that was nicely lit up started to walk up the mountain despite the warning signs of dangerous Monkey as we got further up there sign about wild Boars as well as Monkeys, most likely this sign were aimed at people who were going out in the day. When everyone reach a certain spot a couple of pictures were taken when a noise was heard it was time to walk back later on while everyone was walking back there was a black Cat on the side of the path, which at first i did think was a Monkey.

 

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Gardeners at work.

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Day Eight 

Off on the train to Himeji it was very nice place it felt calm and relaxed as it wasn’t too busy. Found a pretty cafe where i had Honey latte with Chocolate and Orange cake in the sunny weather we walked around the castle with lovely Cherry blossom and a very pretty Camellia tree, visited my brother flat for a bit. Had some sushi in a local merry go round sushi restaurant having fun drinking Melon soda followed by Melon sorbet for pudding.

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Melon soda.
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Himeji castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Camellia tree.
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Honey latte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Nine 

It was my 21th birthday the plan was Kyoto botanical gardens and the golden temple. Having a picnic plus your birthday cake under the Cherry blossom tree in the garden is a great way too start your day off.   After seeing Kites fly around looking for food we walked around as it was big also not every plant would be out at this time but quite a lot was done.  All four greenhouses had certain plants to suit the environment  loads of interesting colorful plant including Orchids, Water Lily, Ping Pong tree, Banana plant and Bamboo. The garden outside were just as good Tulips looked so organised in the border,  Rhododendron looking great yet again, surprising  it wasn’t overly busy for a lovely laid out garden. Stopped in the cafe ice cream were link in with the garden for example Rose and Raspberry, Cherry blossom sitting down in the sun enjoying the ice cream for a bit before we were off too the golden temple. Got on a bus to head towards the temple which was packed out people did stop getting on the bus very wise move, unlike the gardens the golden temple was very busy indeed lots of people taking photos from the various angles later on we all had Yakiniku before me and my brother stayed out for a couple of drinks. 

 

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Birthday cake.
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Golden temple.
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Orchids.
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Picnic.

 

Day Ten

Our last full day in Japan heading back to a hotel just outside the airport. Went back to the market i had baby Octopus stuffed with Quell egg,  got some sweet to take back with me, headed to the Handdrip cafe for one last time. Then got a print to take back with me as well from a nice little shop, next thing on the bullet train back Toyko another train after that to the airport caught a bus too the hotel where everyone had something too eat before it was bed time ready for an early start. 

 

 

Friday morning was an early start, before i knew it we was on the plane and out of Japan. This was the end of the trip it went fast as those things do but i had a enjoyable holiday filled with interesting places to delicious food and drinks.  I would recommend Japan apart from if your a vegetarian your gonna struggle also they don’t speak a lot of outside of Toyko so bare that in mind. Maybe i will return who knows….    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A year at Stourhead

As a Stourhead volunteer, my job is to look after this beautiful garden. Each month I handle different tasks to keep this garden in pristine condition for the members of the public.

February 

Jobs of this month, weeding the gully, digging up separating re planting SnowDrops, cutting back bamboo and mulching.

SnowDrops facts

  •  SnowDrops scientific name is Gallanthus, which means milk flower.
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    Digging up, separating and re planting SnowDrops.
  • SnowDrops is perennial plant, which mean they can survive more than two years in the wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weeding out the gully in middle wall garden.

 

 

 

Bamboo Facts

  • Bamboo is a grass not a tree, it is the fastest growing plant on earth.

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    Cutting back Bamboo.
  • In the past Bamboo is an ancient herbal medicine, has been used in Asia for thousands of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mulch Facts

  • Organic mulch helps improve the soil structure, also add nutrients to the soil.

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    Mulching the borders in the top garden.
  •    Certain mulches allows the water to penetrate to soil more effectively than others.

 

A year at Stourhead.

As a Stourhead volunteer, my job is to look after this beautiful garden. Each month I handle different tasks to keep this garden in pristine condition for the members of the public.

January 

January is mostly winter pruning such as roses, rhododendron. Pre pruning is another job that will done before the main prune later in the year. Pre pruning plants include kiwi and gooseberry bushes.

First day of the year, clearing the path still leaves from the year before. Machinery to pick up most of them if not shovel the leaves into a trailer, off to the mulch pile.
Pruning rhododendron back to a certain point, then we burn it as you can see above. Done every year around January time.

 Rhodondendron Facts

  • In 1811 a British sea captain brought over the first southeastern Asian species to the UK.
  • The name rhododendron comes from two ancient Greek words Rhodon mean Rose, Dendron mean tree- even though it grows as a shrub.
Pre pruning a Kiwi plant. Looking for the dead parts, keeping it in shape, making sure it doesn’t hang over the path.

 
 
 

Azalea Facts

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Re planting azalea. Ready to bloom in spring or autumn depending on the variety.
  • Places such as Japan and Korea have festivals to celebrate azaleas
  • Azalea nectar is highly poisonous, in the past they were regarded as a threat if the flowers were sent in a black vase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yew Tree Facts

  • A yew tree can reach 400 to 600 years old.
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    Chopping and burning yew tree as well as holly bush.
  • In ancient Europe the tree was planted around cemeteries, as people believed it would help souls find their resting place.