If travel is about embracing what’s new and different from what we’re used to, then Java is an excellent contender for an eye-opening adventure. Of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands, the world’s largest archipelago, Java is the richest and most scenically majestic. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan and great cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, and Banyu Wangi, it’s Australia’s most populous neighbour, and arguably its most important, for myriad reasons. Although very close to Australia, Java lies on the other side of an imaginary boundary, known as the ‘Wallace Line’, that separates the biogeographical realms of Asia and Australia, creating vast differences in the biodiversity. To the west, in Asia, species are more closely related to those found in mainland Southeast Asia. To the east, the fauna and flora show stronger affinities with those of Australia and New Guinea such as the prevalence of marsupials and monotremes not seen in Asia at all.
Chris was born in Melbourne but grew up in Kuranda in North Queensland. He loved taking the Silver Bullet (tin turtle) train down the Kuranda range to Cairns for high school during those years. He studied Performing Arts at James Cook University before moving to Sydney to work for the Aboriginal and Islander Dance theatre. He then moved into the film industry working in the art department on many productions such as Babe, Pricilla, and the Wiggles to name a few. In 1992 he took his first trip to Japan and fell in love with the country, food, culture, and people. He studied Japanese and returned to Japan every year for holidays. Chris began working as a coordinator for Japanese productions in the South Pacific and in 2012 moved to Tokyo. His love for Japan and all things Japanese has grown over this time, just going to the convenience store is still exciting for him!