Dining Out: Jihanki Shokudo (Vending Machine Restaurant)

No doubt Gunma prefecture possesses a wide range of great and tasty local delicacies but sadly all I wanted to do was go to this quirky place in the middle of nowhere. I say that last bit based purely on the fact that there is no train station anywhere near it. This is very much a drive-thru style place but one that is worth the effort.


The vending machine stand in Shimbashi had whetted my appetite for going to this place but I had to bide my time as the idea of visiting Gunma just to dine out here was ridiculous. Thankfully, this trip gave me the chance to combine a few things including the J2 football match at Thespakusatsu Gunma.

We took the train to Honjo station (still in Saitama) and then took a bus from Continue reading

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Watching The Worst Team In J2 On A Cold Night In Gunma!

The idea of travelling over 100 kilometres north to watch a team rooted to the bottom of J2 play against a team floating in mid-table nothingness is probably not too appealing for many. However, with games running out this season it was one that Scottish Neil and I were keen to attend and thus tick another stadium off the list. Of course there’s next season but there’s no time like the present!

As with many other stadiums in Japan, this one has a fairly ridiculous name courtesy of a Soy sauce maker; the Shoda Shoyu Stadium Gunma! The team name is a bizzare one too and only very recently did I finally understand the simplicity of it. Three words have been Continue reading

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Day Trip To Mount Fuji 5th Station

The chance of seeing the beautiful and sacred Mount Fuji is one that can’t really be turned down so when my father-in-law suggested going there on a family trip I was delighted as it is quite far from our It0 base despite still being in Shizuoka prefecture.


It took just over two hours to drive there and Fuji-San was very clear and visible from the outset so we knew it was gonna be a fine day. I’ve been lucky enough to have Continue reading

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Mount Omuro Is A Picture Postcard Perfect Volcano


As ever the aftermath of a typhoon brings about some glorious weather and so my father-in-law took us to Mount Omuro on the first full day of our recent trip to the Izu Peninsula. This mountain is a very picturesque and beautifully shaped volcano on the eastern side of the Izu Peninsula. I was quite surprised to later read that it is actually 580 metres high which is only a little shy of Mount Takao (599 metres) in Tokyo. Unlike that one though, the Continue reading

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A Week In Ito On The Izu Peninsula

The first few weeks of October were busy for me with three consecutive six day weeks but there was always light at the end of the tunnel as I knew I had a six day holiday in Izu coming up. Typically it was absolutely hammering it down with rain on the first day of our holiday (with a typhoon on the way) but all we really needed to do that day was get to Ito where my father-in-law would pick us up.

My mother-in-law and Momiji the dog were not arriving until a few days later so it was just the three of us to start with. The typhoon resulted in a beautiful day the following day and so we went to Mount Omuro for an easy half-day trip.

A fair bit of time was spent just chilling in the house and doing some work around the house. I did some raking of leaves in the back garden and on the stone steps leading from the house down to the road but wanted to get out for a bit one afternoon so I went to Kawana Beach (below) even though it was a very cloudy, dull and overcast day. Expectations were low and they were just about met!

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A Spook-tacular Halloween (2017)


It’s probably fair to say that costumes and candy are the two main priorities for the kids that come to our annual Halloween party in Hibarigaoka. The latter comes at the end of the party and my job is basically to just Continue reading

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On The Fox Trail……At The TFGOC!

There’s no such thing as a traditional Halloween costume in Japan as witches, vampires and ghosts make way for the likes of Super Mario, Pokemon and so on. Sure, some cosplayers add a bit of scary fake blood to their costumes but there’s no real pressure to conform to what are considered the more common Halloween outfits. With that in mind,  here are some pictures of me and my costume for this year!!

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