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brucefromaustra comments

Posted in: Analog TV disposal no small task See in context

I remember walking the Iya Valley in Shikoku, seeing a pyramid of dumped TVs along with other large appliances, even a bus tumbled down to the river. Not quite the "idyllic picture of a misty valley of thatch-roofed houses, stuck in a time warp to days gone by". But a friend in a small village told me with shock, how high the fine for dumping a TV was for his friend.

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Posted in: Treat yourself to some mango delights See in context

There are many different varieties of mango - with different flavour. I grew 30 trees of the 'Bowen' variety in Australia - very popular there, which has a stronger taste. That is what is in the 40% fruit in Weiss ice creams at Kaldi Farm Coffee.

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Posted in: Treat yourself to some mango delights See in context

Weis Mango (40% real Mango) is great. Kaldi Farm Coffee sell them cheaper than in Australia - about 170yen - cheaper than any on the above list. With REAL mango, no artificial colours/flavours and tasty ice cream down 1 side - it really is great in the heat. All the Japanese I treated to a taste loved them. I am just back in Australia eating the Macadamia, Mango and ice cream variety. I am sure they would go down well in Japan.

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Posted in: Want to see the real Japan? Try hitchhiking See in context

I have hitchhiked on every trip to Japan over the last few years. It is a wonderful way to meet locals. So I am surprised by the negative responses. It is too easy to get lifts in most rural areas and I don't speak Japanese. I rarely wait more than a few minutes, but I am not wanting long, fast rides. I want to experience the culture. I have been treated like a celebrity on small islands in Okinawa. People have shaken my hand for honoring their village by camping in their park!! The worst thing has been too many nights drinking with locals, and being treated so well - it is a little embarrassing.

On one hitch, I was taken to an historic rural mountain village I wanted to see, by museum guides in training. They took turns translating what they were learning about local folklore and history. It was the best trip. They put me up in the best hotel room, shared a wonderful, drunken feast, and gave me US$200 when they dropped me off on the second day.

I am planning my next trip to Japan from March to June. It will be great to see and stay with the friends I have made.

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