Author: Christy Anne Jones

The Bird Fountain

I hate the way gumtrees look. They’re ugly, damaged things with pale bark and gangly limbs that drop at the smallest trauma. There’s nothing orderly or beautiful about them. When I was little, a line of them stood over my house. After a storm, the garden would become a mangled graveyard of leaves and branches cast away by the gums like twisted tails thrown by an army of fleeing lizards. With seven-year-old hands, I would return the torn limbs to the bases of the trees, and wonder how the old gums could cast away their tails, their arms, and remain tall and stoic. I would wonder how, ugly, broken, and missing parts of themselves, they could keep going. Now, I miss them. The trees here are small, neat, and so vibrant none of them seem real—it’s as if each leaf has been stripped from its siblings, Photoshopped, and stuck back on its stem. Their intensity, though, is nothing compared to the weather’s. An Adelaide summer is an honest one: enormous, empty blue above, burnt skin, …

Goodbye to Our Tiny Tokyo Apartment

I have mentioned before that ‘home’ is a concept that is quite important to me. Being a person who moved house a lot (I’ve lost count–somewhere over 23 times), and especially being a child who moved house a lot, I’ve developed a weird sense of attachment to living spaces. That is to say, I get way too attached. Every place I have lived has represented a very defined period in my life. Because of that, when I move house it becomes painfully aware to me that this is another chapter closing … I know, when I hand in yet another set of keys and close another door behind myself, that I have gotten older and I have said goodbye to another fleeting snippet of my life ( … which is not melodramatic at all … ) I’ve never existed in the same building for more than a handful of years, and the smallest amount of time I’ve lived somewhere was less than a day (to be fair, that house had a huntsman spider infestation. No one …

I Left my Heart in Hakone

Since getting home, I’ve been putting off uploading the last few pictures from my Hakone trip. I’m sure everyone is well and truly sick of my going on and on about it, but it was a really influential time and it’s so special to me, so I wanted to share as much of it as possible. (Also, this is the last post, I promise) After the first day was over–and I was considerably tuckered out–I checked into the Hakone Lake Hotel. Generally, when I travel, my partner and I say in the cheapest accommodation possible but this was a work trip, so I got to stay somewhere a tad on the fancy side. It was such a treat for me. I felt so special, but, at the same time, I also felt a little out of place with my tawdry backpack and beaten up Converse. Dinner was something else entirely. Flower petals on the sashimi. Flower petals. All-you-can-eat tempura. The most mouth watering tofu/horse mackerel that’s ever existed. A tiny burner cooking pork-wrapped asparagus. I died like …

The Most Beautiful Tea House: Amazake Chaya

Hidden in the Hakone mountains, a 15 minute drive from Moto-Hakone, is the most magical and otherworldly kissaten that’s ever existed. Having just eaten lunch and explored Hakone Jinja Shrine, I was excited to head up into the trees and spend an hour sipping tea and eating mochi. What I wasn’t excited for was the journey there. My itinerary specifically told me to take a taxi. I had only taken one single taxi in my life, and that was back in Australia where I knew the driver could speak English. Because of that, I was really nervous. But, thankfully, it turned out well; my taxi driver was absolutely lovely. He didn’t speak a word of English and got way too excited when I tried to talk to him in Japanese. We talked about the rain. And kangaroos. Naturally. (later, I found out that you could easily take a bus, but anyway…) The tea house, itself, was astounding. A medium-sized cottage with open doors, dirt floors and tables with raw, wooden edges. There was a raised section where you could …

The Time I Took A Pirate Ship Across Lake Ashi

When I agreed travel to Hakone to write an article for GaijinPot, I wasn’t entirely sure what I would get up to. I thought that I would visit some museums and shrines, take a few pretty pictures, and that would be it. I assumed my transit options would be limited to buses and trains, and other such unremarkable modes of transport. I was wrong. Very wrong. On the afternoon of the first day, I found myself on board a pirate ship. But, I wasn’t just on board the pirate ship; I was sitting in the first class section, in a fancy plush armchair, watching the mountains slowly creep past. I had my notebook open in front of me. I scribbled fleeting thoughts and story ideas and notes while the tourist ship sailed through the mildly choppy water. The world was a wash of blue and green and grey like an inky water colour painting, and it was so remarkably beautiful. My phone and my camera both went flat. The cabin was mostly deserted. I was …

Snippets of Odawara

I never really cared for Australian hydrangeas. To be entirely honest, I’d never really given them a second thought. In my mind, they were always background flowers; flowers that belonged on the desks of bougie fashion editors or else in the hallways of well-dressed grandparents, but not something to really pay attention to. Surprisingly, now, they might well be my favourite flower. Every time I see hydrangeas–ajisai (アジサイ ) in Japanese–I get reminded of the day I went to Odawara. The day I went, the ground was still damp from rain. The sky was grey and mottled, and sat in the impasse between black and white that I so strongly associated with the suffocating humidity of the August before. The air was cool, though, unlike in the later summer months, and the sleepy cicadas chirped in their funny little orchestra the entire way between the Romance car platform and the castle where I had been commissioned to take pictures. I only got to spend a couple of hours here.  It was just a quick pit-stop on …

My 5 Favourite Gothic Literature Books

Without a doubt, one of my favourite literary genres of all time is Gothic. I stumbled onto this genre after choosing a class themed around it at university; the reading list looked interesting (Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson etc.), and so I popped it onto my enrollment list for that year. What I didn’t realise was that, in chosing this class, I would discover an amazing genre to which some of my favourite books of all time would belong. So, today, I though I might share some of my favourites with you. Here are my five favourite Gothic lit books!   Frankenstein by Mary Shelley The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte