Taiwan earthquake

Beyond broadening the mind, travel has a remarkable ability to forge profound connections to distant places. Through firsthand experience, you can cultivate a deeper sense of empathy and compassion towards the people and cultures encountered along the way. Before my visit to Taiwan, I admittedly knew little about the island. And if it had remained … Continue reading Taiwan earthquake

Kew Gardens Wakehurst

Despite being a member of Kew Gardens for many years, I’d never been to their more rural gardens in Sussex. The public transport to Wakehurst is a bit ropey. Taking the train to Haywards Heath is straightforward. Once you’re there, however, you must wait for one of the infrequent buses for the 10km ride to … Continue reading / view photos Kew Gardens Wakehurst

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2023

I enjoyed the first Royal Academy Summer Exhibition I went to in 2017 but a few later ones not so much. This year’s, however, was full of good stuff and much of it was in the first room, including one of my favourites: the painting of Varanasi, which was evocative of my trip there a … Continue reading / view photos Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2023

Winterbourne House and Garden

One of the hidden delights of Birmingham is Winterbourne House and Garden. Almost immediately, on entering the garden after buying tickets, an elderly man, sitting on a bench, started talking to us. He had this avuncular tone and seemed to be a permanent fixture of the garden. After some chatting, he recommended that we take … Continue reading / view photos Winterbourne House and Garden

teamLab Planets Tokyo

When I was in Kakunodate, a German woman I met was raving about teamLab. She had been to many around the world. I had vaguely heard of it but her description fascinated me. When I knew my arrival date in Tokyo, I went online to book it. I expected it to be fully booked but … Continue reading / view photos teamLab Planets Tokyo

Sendai — the City of Trees

I was whizzing through the Tohuko region on my way south to Tokyo, spending just a day in a city or town before moving on. This was partly because of my seven-day JR Pass rail pass, which allows unlimited travel for the period of the pass. Therefore, you get most value the more you use … Continue reading / view photos Sendai — the City of Trees

Mount Hakodate

Yesterday, I had bought a three-museum ticket when I visited the Museum of Northern Peoples. Today, I went to the other two: the former British consulate and the old Public Hall. The British Consulate was established in Hakodate after an Anglo-Japanese Treaty was signed in 1858. Free trade between Britain and Japan then began. A … Continue reading / view photos Mount Hakodate


The ryokan owner in Furano gave the two Taiwanese sisters (who I met yesterday) and me a lift to the station for our trains to Sapporo (changing at Takikawa). The sisters were not used to lugging their huge suitcases around and there was no lift to help them at Furano station. Although the station staff … Continue reading / view photos Hakodate

Sapporo Art Park

I had most of the day free before the late afternoon train to my next destination, Furano, east of Sapporo. Sapporo Art Park was on my list of places to visit, and I was glad I could squeeze it in before leaving Sapporo. First, I had to get the subway and change lines. The changeover … Continue reading / view photos Sapporo Art Park


Sapporo, the fifth largest city in Japan, is on Hokkaido, one of the main Japanese islands. Sapporo, being the capital of Hokkaido, is a good base for visiting other places. One of the popular daytrips from Sapporo is to Otaru, northwest of Sapporo. It took me 30 minutes to get to Oraru on the rapid … Continue reading / view photos Otaru