AND RE­CLINE

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

SOC­CER RULES

BUILT in 1992, the 40,000-seat Kashima Soc­cer Sta­dium is the Ja­panese equiv­a­lent of Lon­don’s Wem­b­ley. It was a venue for matches dur­ing the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is home to the Antlers, named for the in­dige­nous sa­cred deer known for their fight­ing spirit. The team joined the pro­fes­sional football J-League in 1991 and is now ranked No1. The sta­dium boasts an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem that sprays warm wa­ter in the win­ter to pre­vent the ground from freez­ing and it has a royal box with a mar­ble- THE cloud-clipped trees at Au­berge de Manoir Kit­tei in Sawara are per­fectly lit at night in the fine gar­den that sur­rounds this restau­rant and small ac­com­mo­da­tion house. The trees look like gi­ant bon­sai and I mar­vel at the ex­per­tise re­quired to prune so in­tri­cately on such a large scale. The menu is de­scribed as mod­ern Ja­panese/French, which turns out to be a won­der­ful com­bi­na­tion. Au­berge de Manoir Kit­tei has well-ap­pointed ac­com­mo­da­tion for six guests in an ad­join­ing con­tem­po­rary house. More: kit­tei.co.jp.

FIELD OF COS­MOS

BE­TWEEN Itako City and Narita air­port, my bus stops briefly at a field of pink cos­mos. Planted to re­ju­ve­nate the soil af­ter the rice har­vest, the flow­ers are free for the com­mu­nity to pick and en­joy. Helen McKen­zie was a guest of the Kanto Dis­trict Trans­port Bureau and Ja­pan Air­lines. au.jal.com suigosanto.com/en ka­tor­ishi.com/en jnto.org.au

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