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The Diary of an Independent My visit to Japan was to cover the results of the 2019 Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. But it became much more than that, for me at least. The visit was a success for all involved and I am proud to feature the results of that within this edition of The Last Post. For me, the trip went beyond what I had expected in this land that has housed human settlement since the ice-age. From the feeling that you were landing in the ocean, as we arrived in the middle of Osaka Bay at Osaka’s Kansai Airport to the drive across the Skygate, the world’s longest double-decker truss bridge. Through Rinku town and Sakai to Kyoto. With finding restaurant’s in the narrow back-streets of Kyoto, to the splendor of The Sheraton in Tokyo. To visiting Ryozon Kannon in south-eastern Kyoto to going to the National Institute of Technology in Kure and meeting an amazing bunch of schoolkids and spending time with the city mayor. From taking the ferry to Miyajima Island in Hatsukaichi. An island where people and gods live together. I spent hours there walking through the primeval forest, visiting the corridors of shrines and temples and gardens, Tahoto Pagoda and Great Torii. I visited the Daishoin Temple. I took my shoes off and listened to a Buddhist chant. From Hiroshima Peace Park and ground Zero and the Itsukuhima Shrine.

Flying JAL to Tokyo and to The Sheraton. To meeting the lovely women from the POW Research Network. Yoko. Having dinner with Mr Daiji Yamaguchi, Isami Takada, Kengo and Yoshiko and Keiko. From meeting Col Simon Monterola and visiting the Yokohama Commonwealth War Cemetery. Laying a wreath. From a message from David telling me he had a friend in Tokyo who ran a bar. A Friday night walk through neon-lit streets, asking a Canadian for directions. The Meguro Tavern. Garth and the boys. Good music. Good martini. Good company. Catching a cab back to The Sheraton at midnight. From a long walk on Saturday to the café in the gardens of the Takanawa Hospital. A coffee. To the Origin of the Monument of Poems Garden, composed on scenic beauty of Kameoka. To returning the next day, with an umbrella to say good bye to the garden. To finding an art gallery that looked like a normal house, in the backstreets. To saying good bye to Tokyo through a forest of skyscrapers on the way to the airport. This and the Grassroots Exchange Programme. Thanks to all and Stephen for getting me a seat.  n

6  THE LAST POST – 2019 ANZAC DAY EDITION

Profile for The Last Post Magazine

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

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