Tokyo Daytripper: The Twin (Water) Towers Of Sakura City

If it hadn’t been for my trip to Yūkarigaoka I would never have bothered with these twin towers but as I was in the area, and had the time, I thought I should take advantage of being in such a location. Some people will no doubt think it wasn’t worth the effort but up for a bit of adventure I decided to go the extra mile…or in this case, the extra five miles!

First up though was the aforementioned Yūkarigaoka Station where I spent a few hours walking and then riding on the whole Yamaman Yūkarigaoka Line.

 

As a fan of Katakana-named stations (only in Tokyo usually though to keep it simple!) I was intrigued by Yūkarigaoka Station (ユーカリが丘). At first glance, it’d be easy to just think that Yūkarigaoka is a Japanese word but it actually derives from the Continue reading

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The Japanese Town Which Has It’s Own Local Rail Line

For a lot of people the Keisei Main Line is only ever used for going to and from Narita Airport. However, about two-thirds of the way down the line from Keisei Ueno Station is a planned town that was built on farmland. This bedroom community, about an hour from Ueno, has it’s own racquet-shaped train line which I was completely unaware of until I saw the following tweet from @thetokyofiles.

As someone who has a lot of affection for Chiba Prefecture I was pretty excited by this very local monorail-style line and last month I took a trip to Sakura City to experience it. After being in denial for a few years I think I have to finally admit that I am a Continue reading

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Foxed In The Head: Cycling To All Inari Shrines In Tokyo’s 23 Wards – #4 Katsushika

#4. Katsushika

Cycling may be something that I love to do but I’m not really one who goes for a ride without some kind of aim whether it be to a restaurant, a sight or just my workplace. With that in mind, and desperate to get out on my new bike, I decided to cycle round ALL the Inari Shrines in Tokyo taking each of the 23 wards one at a time.

Inspired by recent interest in tiny shrines, this idea seemed like a good way of Continue reading

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London Filming Locations: Spectre (2015)

Whilst it’s not a masterpiece, ‘Spectre‘ (2015) still does a good job of entertaining. The pre-title scenes in Mexico City are spectacular but it fails to stay as tense and exciting after that and I really wasn’t so keen on the whole storyline about Blofeld being the king of all previous villains in ‘Skyfall‘ (2012), ‘Quantum Of Solace‘ (2008) and ‘Casino Royale‘ (2006).

 

As is so often the case Bond is summoned to London for a word with M (Ralph Fiennes) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) chases after him on 18 minutes in the Continue reading

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Tokyo Daytripper: The Lost World Ruins Of A Stone Quarry In Gunma

There’s something special and mystical about walking through a wood or forest and discovering a lost world of sorts but that is exactly what happened at this place just a couple of hours north of Tokyo.

Wearing masks is something that has just been an everyday thing for a while now in Japan but typically the elastic on mine snapped not so long after I had left the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre just before 7am on the day of this trip. I didn’t have any spare ones either and there wasn’t time to turn back due to the need to make one particular train further north. Subsequently, I had to Continue reading

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TF Flashback – The Art Of Star Wars Episode 3 Exhibition In Tokyo (2005)

There’s been quite a few Star Wars exhibitions in Tokyo over the years, particularly in recent times since the Disney takeover. Whilst rummaging through some old boxes during the soft lockdown a few months ago I came across the ticket and flyer for one that I had completely forgotten about going to 15 years ago.

 

2005 was a time when I was certainly a Star Wars fan but my fandom was yet to grow to the levels of later years in the wake of 2008’s ‘Star Wars Celebration Japan‘ and my filming location pilgrimage to Tunisia in 2009. The theme back then was the Art of Star Wars Episode 3 which coincided with Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – The Bridges At Toko-Ri (1954)

The Korean War (1950 – 1953) has not featured on the big screen too many times and is an unknown conflict for many outside of those who fought in it. Korea, and the seas around it, may be the main location for this 102 minute movie but a sizeable amount of time is actually spent in Japan.

  

For a film made in the fifties, it has to be said that it really does look visually impressive at times but it’s just a Continue reading

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Dining Out: The Ice Cream That Towers Above All Others

Few things taste more refreshing than ice-cream during Tokyo’s overly hot and humid summer days. Sadly it was out of bounds for me on my recent 30 day challenge (which lasted for 69 days!) but once that was over I made my return in style. The likes of ‘Ben & Jerry’s‘ and ‘Baskin Robbins‘ (known as ‘31‘ in Japan) usually only serve up two or three servings of ice-cream but this place in a shopping complex more famed for it’s geeky pop culture collectable shops has a food stall which sells the tallest ice-cream in Japan.

This place in Nakano first came to my attention a few years ago and every few months I thought that I’d like to try it one day. I always thought it’d be best to eat it in summer but it bypassed my mind a few times. Not this year though and so I finally went to try the Continue reading

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The “Other” Olympic Museum In Tokyo

The all-new Tokyo Olympic Museum opened in mid-September last year and is located across the road from the Japan National Stadium (Kokuritsu kyōgijō) which hosted it’s inaugural sporting event – the 2019 Emperor’s Cup final – on January 1st this year.

 

The stadium will may host the Olympics next year in terms of the opening and closing ceremonies, and the track and field events. If the games do actually go ahead then it’ll be the first time the country has seen Olympic action since it last hosted in 1964. Back then, Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #28

Many of the parks and children’s playgrounds in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, are quite poor compared to other countries in terms of space, surroundings and a lack of grass. However, a handful of them do tend to possess extremely creative structures and they will be explored in this series.

Nickname: Pig Park 

Location: 1-1 Continue reading

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