Stations By The Sea In Niigata (2/2)

Anyone who has ever read any of the Unstaffed Stations posts will know that I love a station that is located next to water, particularly the ocean. There’s something anime-like about such a thing and so when I was in Niigata Prefecture on a short trip in September 2022 I went to check out a couple of these places.

The first of this two-part series focused on Arimagawa station but 42 kilometres east of that is this more modern-looking building. The reason for it being built though only came about due to Continue reading

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The Other Hugely Popular Thing To Do At Miyajimaguchi Station!

 

Think of Miyajima and thoughts immediately turn towards Itsukushima Shrine and it’s bright red torii gate in the sea. The deer roaming the island and oysters may get a mention. The quirky temple on the east of the island is unlikely to be spoken of and one of Japan’s gambling hotspots is also unlikely to come to mind!

I had barely heard of boat race until I went to watch a bit of Keirin cycling in 2019 in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka. That was when I first heard it mentioned as one of three gambling sports in Japan along with Continue reading

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Exploring The Remains Of A Former Railway Line In Hiroshima

Miyoshi in the northern parts of Hiroshima Prefecture came to my attention back in 2020 when I compiled a list of every station in Japan with a platform zero. The only one in Hiroshima was at Miyoshi but when doing some preparation for our New Year trip I discovered that it was sadly no more.

Platform zero was used on the Sankō Line running for 108.1 kilometres between Miyoshi and Gōtsu in Shimane Prefecture. However, when that Continue reading

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This Tunnel Of Light Is The Picture Perfect Place For The Instagram Generation!

The main reason many people go to Echigo-Yuzawa in Niigata is because it is an easy Shinkansen (bullet-train) ride from Tokyo for people wanting to go skiing or snowboarding in the surrounding mountains. Outside of the winter season is a different matter though and far less tourists descend on the area. However, in the last few years one particular sight has emerged as a reason for visiting the area in any season.

Once I had consumed a load of sake from the vending machines in Niigata station, I took a bus to Kiyotsu Gorge which was about a 25 minute journey. That wasn’t quite the end of it as there was still the small matter of a Continue reading

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Watching Volleyball In Japan Has To Be One Of The Country’s Noisiest Experience

Back in 2019 when Japanese residents could enter ballots for tickets to see the Tokyo 2020 Olympics I applied for over a dozen different sports but ultimately (and rather inevitably) failed on most fronts. It mattered not too much as due to the pandemic spectators were unable to attend pretty much everything apart from a select few events in Miyagi and Shizuoka Prefectures.

That disappointment got me thinking that I shouldn’t just need the Olympics to see some different sports in a country where there’s far more live sport than just baseball and football. Sure, it’s not the Continue reading

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Stations By The Sea In Niigata (1/2)

Anyone who has ever read any of the Unstaffed Stations posts will know that I love a station that is located next to water, particularly the ocean. There’s something anime-like about such a thing and so when I was in Niigata Prefecture on a short trip in September 2022 I went to check out a couple of these places.

Ten minutes after my time was up at one of Japan’s most dystopian stations I was disembarking at Continue reading

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This Family-Owned Milk Carton Building Is Udderly Brilliant

When I heard there was a giant milk carton building in Hiroshima it was music to my ears as I am always looking for new and interesting places to visit in a part of Japan where the two main sights (the A-Bomb Dome and Miyajima) tend to dominate the majority of posts and videos about the area.

What I didn’t take into consideration at first though was how far and wide Hiroshima Prefecture is. The likes of Onomichi and Okunoshima (a.k.a. Rabbit Island) are nearly two hours east of the city centre but they are still served by regular trains. However, venture Continue reading

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Feel The Force At This Hidden Pop Culture Cafe In Hiroshima

A Star Wars themed cafe-museum is definitely the kind of place I would travel far and wide to see but unbelievablly this all happened without any planning or knowledge beforehand. My force powers just weren’t sensitive to this place which has been open for 4-5 years now.

When I left my in-law’s apartment, I was just heading to Ono-ura station to see a nearby waterfall. It wasn’t something I was desperate to see but it was just something to do and a new place to explore. Only on the short train journey along the San-yo Line did I notice a place called bb-geek on Google Maps. I didn’t think too much of it at the time but as I began to look into it I soon realised Continue reading

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Retrospective Alphabet Dating In Greater Tokyo S00E06: W-Z

 

Whilst season two of alphabet dating is taking place I thought I could fill that void with a restrospecive series which is certainly an easier operation as they were not done in alphabetical order which can be a little stressful and frustrating at times.

Season 0 will throw back to places and things we’ve done in Greater Tokyo since 2011. I generally hate the term Continue reading

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TF Flashback: Travelling Around 6 Central American Countries In 3 Weeks (2012-13)

In contrast to my travel style today, this three week trip to Central America was pretty much all unplanned in advance with only the start and end points known. Equipped with my trusted Lonely Planet book, I headed for Guatemala back in December 2012 not knowing where the adventure may take me…

1. Guatemala 

With cobblestoned roads and multi-coloured colonial buildings, the beautiful city of Antigua very much played up to my stereotypical view of this region’s culture perfectly. I spent many hours wandering around the Unesco World Heritage area which was full of Continue reading

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