Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Tucked in between Teramachi and Takakura and one block north of Shijo is the Nishiki markets with it’s multi-coloured glass roof. An awe inspiring selection of gastronomic sights, and smells, greets you in what the locals call Kyoto’s pantry. Some of the stalls sell takeaway in the form of sashimi and yakitori skewers and there are some small sit down restaurants tucked away here and … Continue reading Nishiki Market, Kyoto

To Kyoto by Shinkasen

Kyoto city of a thousand temples, pavilions, gardens and stately palaces, all surrounded by the surging froth of  modern Japan. Behold, the golden layer cake of Kinka.. Let’s wind the tape back a little to see how we got here shall we? Dateline Narita International airport, situated in Chiba prefecture to the east of Tokyo.Our intrepid travellers arrive on their way to Yokohama via a … Continue reading To Kyoto by Shinkasen


Aoraki, or Mt Cook if you prefer, is the tallest piece of real estate in New Zealand so as we had a spare day in Queenstown…Yep you guessed it, road-trip! From Queenstown it’s about a seven hour drive through the central Otago region, known for it’s vineyards and  where we stopped for lunch at (strangely) a nice little vineyard. Yes it’s long drive but you do get to see a … Continue reading Aoraki

Auckland vulcanis redux

Rome might have its seven hills but Auckland is built on the bones of fifty or so volcanoes. Oh, and the volcanic field is still active which in turn means that eventually it’s going to rumble in to life again with predictably bad consequences. Still it’s not quite as bad as what might happen if the Taupo super volcano kicks off… 🙂 That warning having been delivered, if … Continue reading Auckland vulcanis redux

The Maori portraits

An exhibition of the portraiture of Gottfried Lindauer is on at the National gallery in Auckland, its an absorbingly interesting insight into the Maori of the 19th century. I’ve seen one or two of these portraits before in other museum but this is a very well curated and comprehensive exhibit of his life’s work. Check it out if you’re in town.  Continue reading The Maori portraits

The Sound of Piopiotahi

Very Hebridean Taking our leave of the Routeburn we picked up our bus at 11 from the Divide Shelter car park and kicked back for a couple of hours travel not requiring ou legs.We drew some curious looks from the other passengers given our slightly travel stained appearance.  Even getting to Piopiotahi/Milford is dramatic, the road winds up through the mountain valley past the avalanche … Continue reading The Sound of Piopiotahi