Time To Jump On The Women’s Football Bandwagon For A New Experience!

 

Like many people in this country, I have only really followed the fortunes of Nadeshiko Japan (the women’s national football team) team since they triumphed over the USA on penalties in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Winning the biggest prize of all came at an important time for a country which had a few months earlier suffered greatly due to the earthquake and tsunami which ripped through parts of Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. It gave the country a much needed lift and really helped put women’s football on the radar of much of the nation.

Since then, Nadeshiko Japan have twice won the Asian Cup and they also reclaimed the Asian Games title in 2018 having won it eight years previously. All of this was certainly not the first time for me to consume women’s football though. Back in the late 1980’s Continue reading

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Tokyo Daytripper: Purple Noodles, A Tunnel Of Stunning Wooden Ema & More Unique-Faced Statues In Kawagoe

Known as Little Edo, Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture is a place I’ve been to on many occasions and it has featured on Tokyo Fox a few times albeit in some quite poorly written blog posts from a long, long time ago. Wanting to visit it again, I decided to cycle there as it’s a very direct straight route of about 30 kilometres one way from the TFGOC.

Rather than go in chronological order, we’ll go in order of what I consider to be the most interesting and that means starting with these purple noodles (below) which I had for an early lunch. These udon noodles are actually made of sweet potato (imo in Japanese) and cost me ¥750. They were very chewy but tasty all the same although they didn’t really fill me up. There was a more expensive set that included tempura with it but I just wanted to get the basic purple noodle tasting experience.

 

A place that I’ve never been was Hikawa Shrine which has seemingly become very popular with the tourist hordes in recent years due to a few notable Continue reading

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34 Degrees Celsius! Not Ideal Weather For Cycling To Kawagoe (& Back!) But That Is What I Did!

 

July was a terrible month in terms of the weather with rain pretty much every day but it certainly warmed up towards the end of the month. It was a scorcher on the day I decided to do this bike ride. Not the conditions I’d have hoped for but I was keen to get out on one of my days off having hardly left the sofa on previous weeks when not at work!

Kawagoe, which is known as Little Edo, is a place I’ve been to many times. It has featured on Tokyo Fox a few times (not for a long, long time though!) but those entries are pretty poor to be honest and don’t show off too much of the city. Wanting to visit it again, I decided to cycle there as it’s a fairly easy route. Just go straight for ages and you’re there! The distance (about 30 kilometres each way) seemed reasonable too as that’s just a little more than I do on a return trip to Shibuya for work.

With my arms, face and neck smothered in sunscreen, I left the TFGOC at Continue reading

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Return To Sendai…But This Time To See A Live Match & Not Just The Stadium!

On my first trip to Sendai a few years ago I actually went to check out the Yurtec Stadium early morning whilst my wife had a lie-in. I vowed that I’d return one day to actually see a game featuring the home side Vegalta Sendai. Three years later and that wish finally came true just one day after a very wet match for my Reysol boys up in Yamagata.

Local trains from Yamagata to Sendai only take about an hour so I decided to take a slight detour on my return to Tokyo to see a J1 game in a city which I visited a couple of times last Summer. Consadole Sapporo were the visitors for Sendai which gave me the chance to actually see an English Continue reading

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The Star Wars Identities Interactive Exhibition Has Arrived In Tokyo

 

A few months ago I heard that this interactive exhibition was coming to Tokyo and I was immediately excited without knowing too much about it. That was until I saw the price! It was over 3000 yen which is a little expensive to say the least. I needed to think carefully about whether I thought it would be worth it and inevitably I succumbed to the temptation and went on the opening day!

Tennozu Isle was the location and it was held in a warehouse just a stones throw from where I watched England lose on penalties to Argentina in the blind football World Cup Final last March. It was the first day of my school holidays and my birthday too so a treat was in order as I needed to do something with my time and better to go before most other people too.

Booking the tickets for my friend Matt and I was not so easy as the whole process was very technical. First I had to Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – The Teahouse Of The August Moon (1956)

“All moons are good but an August moon is a little older and a little wiser”

So that’s what the latter part of the title was all about then! For many, many years I’ve been aware of this film but I had absolutely no idea what it was about until I finally got round to watching it a couple of months ago.

 

Opening with the twangy sound of the shamisen, the shōji (Japanese paper doors) opens to reveal post-WWII Okinawa in 1946. With no preconceptions of the movie contents, I was in for quite a surprise when I saw Marlon Brando portraying a Japanese interpreter as talks to the camera whilst sitting in front of a tree.

Warning: Contains Spoilers!

Of course this film is very much of it’s time and is probably now damned by political correctness. Rumour has it that Brando was so Continue reading

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Tokyo Daytripper: A Shrine Dedicated To Feet & The Last Remnant Of A Former Haunted House In Gunma

It was quite apt that I visited this shrine as I was suffering with a painful foot injury not that the walk to and from it will have helped at all! Those of a squeamish nature should probably skip ahead to the next paragraph! Just a couple of days before this day trip to Gunma Prefecture I stubbed my big toe and cracked it’s nail a bit which in turn led to me picking at it and subsequently tearing off a bit too much. This then resulted in walking in a strange way and putting extra pressure on my calf muscles as I tried to ease pressure on my toe.

Once I was done at the buddha statue made up of 20,000 insects, I took another bus for just under ten minutes to try and track down this shrine (Akoudacho, Tatebayashi) with a difference. It was around a dozen minutes on foot and not so surprisingly was completely devoid of any other people.

 

Whilst regular shrines possess wooden plaques known as ema, this place had Continue reading

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