Puppy Love Pt II: When Maron (Finally) Met Cocoa

When our beloved family dog “Momiji” (a chihuahua-poodle mix known in Japanese as a chipoo) went to heaven last year it left a huge void in our lives. Time does move on though and seven months later my wife and I had got our very own dog, and then in late March my parents-in-law got a brown poodle and called him Cocoa. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, between us, we were trying to create a new chipoo but that is not the case as they’re both male dogs!

We had been planning to go to Izu in Golden Week but the State of Emergency (the “soft” lockdown which Japan employed for most of April and May) put paid to that idea. Once it was over though we were able to finally get over that way in June so Continue reading

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The Little Known German Park In Tokyo (+ Memories Of My Time Living & Working In Hamburg)

Parks became a very common place for me to visit during the lockdown period (known as State of Emergency in Japan and technically not even a lockdown!) as I sought a bit of greenery when getting some fresh air on my daily walks. Whilst nature may not be so prominent in this particular park (as is the case for many parks in Tokyo), the contents of it are pretty interesting.

How did I come across this place? That is due to the following Continue reading

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My “Pele Played In Japan” Article Was In Japan’s #1 English Language Football Magazine!

This article was originally written in early 2019 for J-Soccer Magazine but due to a lack of issues last year it didn’t appear in Japan’s number one English language football publication until a few months ago. Since it’s release, a sufficient amount of time has passed so I feel its now ok to reproduce the contents of that article in it’s original form for those who maybe missed it!!

  

The name Gary Lineker will come to mind when most people think about the first British player to ply his trade in Japan. However, the former Nagoya Grampus, Tottenham, Barcelona, Everton and Leicester City striker actually came to the land of the rising sun seven years after the man in question here. Continue reading

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Discovering Some Local Delights During Tokyo’s “Soft” Lockdown

Japan’s “soft” lockdown began in early April and was more commonly referred to as a State of Emergency. It continued till the end of May and I was off from work for most of that time. Although it may have been a break from my job it certainly wasn’t a proper holiday due to the restrictions on what we could do and where we could go. The highlights mentioned below were all brief and though they took my mind off things for a while, it was actually a fairly stressful time regarding the threat of coronavirus and my work situation.

Whilst I’d love to say I used the time wisely to read, study or learn new skills, the first couple of weeks was pretty much spent being a couch potato and watching TV series, films and YouTube whilst eating and drinking too much! As the weight soon piled on it became apparent that things needed to change and so daily walks in our neighbourhood became the way of life.

  

As a resident of Itabashi ward, there aren’t too many interesting places around so it was quite surprising to notice these Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #26

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: Panda Toilet Block

Location: Continue reading

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Puppy Love: A Big Welcome To Our Little Addition To The Family!

2020 has brought about big changes for so many people but even before Covid-19 reared it’s ugly head, our lives had altered due to the arrival of a new little puppy.

Our cream-coloured Chihuahua was born in mid-October last year and we got him in early Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – Blood On The Sun (1945)

No pre-conceptions, judgement on merit and a positive attitude are three traits for reviewing films and so I followed that philosophy as I sat down to watch this old black and white film about exposing the Japanese government’s plan for world domination. Well I’d like to say that was the case but it’s no lie that I wasn’t too excited about having to watch this as I find it difficult to get into such old movies.

 

This film may have been produced in 1945 but the story actually begins in 1929 with an alleged Japanese conspiracy against the U.S. in the pre-war period. It’s all based on a fictional history behind the Tanaka Memorial document; a Japanese plan to Continue reading

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Foxed In The Head: Cycling To All Inari Shrines In Tokyo’s 23 Wards – #1 Itabashi

#1. Itabashi

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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TF Flashback – When The Ireland Rugby Team Played In Tokyo For The First Time (2005)

Last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan saw the hosts become the first Asian team to qualify for the knock-out rounds. After an expected opening win against Russia they then produced the shock of Shizuoka as they stunned Ireland. Samoa were brushed aside and then it was the big decider against Scotland on a typhoon weekend when a few other games had already been cancelled. Japan ran riot to make it to the quarter finals with a blistering-paced 30 minute period as the tries rained down in Yokohama.

Both England and Wales were supposed to be coming to these shores for a couple of friendly games each this Summer but Covid-19 put paid to that idea. The Japanese RFU have managed to lure one of the home nations to Tokyo (plus one other Japanese city) each Summer for a number of years now and my first taste of it was back on 19th June 2005.

Ireland were the visitors who had already Continue reading

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TF Top 10……Alternative Big Buddha Statues In Japan

When it comes to buddha statues, the bigger the better in my opinion. This list isn’t completely size-obsessed though as many of them are also notable for their quirkiness. Everyone knows about the famous ones in Kamakura and Nara but this post includes a compilation of alternative and unique ones so join Tokyo Fox on a journey that starts in the north of Japan and heads south taking in some of the most interesting buddha statues I’ve visited so far.

  • Please note that the height for each one (if known) is given in metres and does not include pedestals

1. The Arty One (13.5 metres) – Once upon a time this buddha just sat in a field on its own but world-renowned architect Tadao Ando built a hill covered with lavender bushes around it. Only after passing through this tunnel can you finally look up to see the buddha statue in its full glory.

 

Hill of The Buddha, Minami-ku, Sapporo. More details here

2. The Roadside One (15 metres) – A cable Continue reading

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