As 2004 came to a close, we set out on our third trip to Japan. Again T-chan had returned to Japan earlier; to spend some quality time with her parents - without having to worry about baby-sitting her new husband.
The flight from Adelaide to Sapporo has a number of different paths - and it used to be that you could fly in the morning or evening. The first leg of the journey is to Sydney via domestic airline (approx 1.5 hours), then a 9-9.5 hour flight to Tokyo (Narita airport - the International hub into Japan).
I am writing this on Anzac Day (25th April) - a day synonymous with reflection on Australia's war-history; commemorating as it does the ill-fated 1915 Gallipoli Landings in Turkey by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). For this reason, it is perhaps fitting to reflect on the events of more than 65 years ago looking out the airplane window...
As the plane leaves the Australian continent, my thoughts turn to Darwin - the Northern gateway to Australia. Darwin was the site of one of the few direct attacks (bombing raids) on mainland Australian soil by Japanese soldiers during WWII... The first such raid occurred on 19th February, 1942 - and whilst this was the most devastating (resulting in approximately 250 dead), there were more than 60 further air raids over the course of the war.