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29 May 2004: Honeymoon in Kyushu

Ten days in Kyushu is a whole lot of honeymoon. Thing is, Kyushu is a mighty large place. You have to decide where exactly you are going in advance. Aki and I decided to go up the scale of complexity and go everywhere: Beppu, Nagasaki, Huis Ten Bosch, Kumamoto, Aso, Kagoshima and Yakushima. (Some of the geographically-inclined readers may point out that this isn't exactly everywhere. Oh No.)

I can tell you that this was not easy to pull off. Aki spent a lot of time gathering information and making 'phone calls to various parties. It took us a number of discussions to decide on the destinations, the route and time spent at each location. I may have a PhD in mathematics but this sort of planning just went right over my head. To learn more about the trip, click on the photos on the left. The short summary: amazing and tiring!

I mentioned last month that I had become addicted to Wonda Morning Shot. Since returning from Kyushu I appear to have kicked the habit, becoming entranced with the lightness of grapefruit juice instead.

Here's a footnote which may attract some e-mail. I am leaving Japan in the next few months, to return to the UK. More information on this in a few weeks.

Current Affairs

Those outside of Japan may have heard about Japanese hostages being taken (and freed) in Iraq but may not be privy to what happened next. It may surprise some to hear that they have essentially had to into hiding in Japan. The government and media derided the hostages for wanting to return to Iraq, openly opposing the Japanese intervention, and their familes for demanding the recall of the Jieitai (Self-Defense Force) from Iraq. You can find out more about this story at the New York Times and the Japan Times, and there's an interesting letter I came across too. Remember Japan is a country where the families of those who commit suicide by jumping in front of a train get sued by the rail company.

For those familiar with Babylon 5, you may be saddened to hear that Richard Biggs died at the untimely age of 43 on May 22, 2004.

Movie Corner

Return of the King was cool.