Mt Fuji’s Hidden Kimono Museum

It took awhile to find, which was more a reflection of my inability to read a map than its hidden location, but the rise of stone stairs to a carved wooden door would indicate that I’d finally found the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum.

Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

Entrance to the garden

Situated in the foothills near the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi overlooking Mt Fuji, is a place worth a visit even if just to see the garden alone. From outside its walls, amber hues drape over the carved entrance created from multiple doors said to have come from Indian castles. Stepping over the threshold feels invasive like you’re intruding into some Japanese feudal lord’s private garden, but intrude I will!

While pretty all year-round, autumn is when the garden stands out with a profusion of foliage ranging from deep reds through to golden yellow. It’s spectacular!

Gravel paths meander through a small forest filled with purposely-placed rocks, ponds and waterfalls, all meticulously designed by the museum’s namesake, Itchiku Kubota.


Inside the garden

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Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour

Backyard Tourist – Welcome to My Fremantle


Sometimes when your next big trip is too far away but the travel itch is compelling you to do something, anything! It might pay to look at your hometown through the eyes of a visitor.

The port city of Fremantle, lies 22kms south-west of Western Australia’s capital, Perth. Initially a separate town, suburban sprawl has connected the two in the past few decades.

Young by European or even US standards, but old in Anglo-Australian years, it was settled only because they didn’t want those cheese-eating surrender monkeys (the French), to colonise part of Australia. They’d been hanging around the coasts and the British, who’d been a bit blasé about the west,  finally gave in to Captain Stirling who was lobbying for a free settlement here.
Two years later in 1830, my 3rd great grandfather arrived at the new Swan River Colony which is why I feel such a connection with the place.

There are three main reasons for visiting Fremantle, the history, the café culture and the art scene. Continue reading