There’s A Rock & It Looks Like A Lion!! I’ll Believe That When I See It!

Just as I was about to take the train back home from Izu-Ōkawa Station last year I noticed a billboard on the platform advertising something called Lion Rock. That was bad timing as I was about to leave the area and wouldn’t be back in Izu for many more months.

Having saved it in my ‘Want to go’ section on my maps app I was quite surprised to come across it (as I’d completely forgotten all about it!) when I was looking at places to visit during the Japanese Golden Week holiday earlier this month. Before checking out the images online I was fairly sceptical of claims that such a rock looks like a lion but Continue reading

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Unstaffed Stations Of Japan #9 – Nukazawa

Think of train stations in Japan and the mighty Shinjuku station is sure to come to mind for many people. That is the world’s busiest train station, and Japan monopolises the top 50 list with only five of them not in this country. However, at the other end of the scale are some tiny stations which are usually unstaffed and used by very few commuters.

Station: Nukazawa

Prefecture: Continue reading

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Dining Out: Trying A Couple Of Unique Regional Burgers

A few months ago there was an article on whacky Japanese news site Sora News 24 about seven alternative regional burgers in Japan. The one that caught my eye was the kitsune burger in Toyokawa (Aichi Prefecture) but it’s difficult to imagine revisiting there anytime too soon. A far easier one to try was in Shizuoka Prefecture and it just happened to be available in a city I’d be visiting during the Japanese Golden Week holiday in early May.

At the north-western end of the Izu Peninsula is a port city called Continue reading

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

#23. Shinjuku 

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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Hikone Filming Locations: 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)

Think of a Japanese castle which has featured in a couple of movies and the majority of people will no doubt say Himeji-jo in Hyōgo Prefecture. However, there is another one and that is Hikone-jo in Shiga Prefecture. It was used in ‘The Hunted‘ (1995) but a couple of years before that it also appeared in this kids adventure movie where a trio of young martial artists face their grandfather’s enemies when they follow him to Japan to deliver a priceless dagger.

The fun part of movie location hunting for me is getting out there and tracking down the places used and trying to replicate the same angle as accuarately as possible. That all takes time and money though but thankfully one can actually do this hobby Continue reading

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Alphabet Dating In Japan With My Wife Who Was Completely Unaware Of The Task At Hand! (S01E04: P-T)

 

When I heard this idea on the radio a few years ago I thought it might be something that I could try as a way of motivating myself to go to some places with my wife that I’m usually not too interested in. I did think of suggesting it to her and then taking it in turns to come up with things to do for each letter but I thought she would dismiss it as a silly idea straight away so decided to keep it secret.

If you haven’t seen part 3 (K-O) then please click here to read that

It would be quite easy to do an A-Z of dining out experiences so I decided that should be limited to Continue reading

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Cycling The Shortest Tokyo Subway Journey That Ticks Off The Alphabet

Have you ever wondered what the shortest route on the Tokyo Metro is that ticks off all the letters of the alphabet? Of course you haven’t but as you can see in the title that was the objective for the latest train challenge on Tokyo Fox! One of my favourite UK-based YouTubers Geoff Marshall did this on the London Underground at the end of 2021 and I will include his video at the foot of this post.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet but in Japanese there is no Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #39 – Pigeon Slide

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: Pigeon Slide

Location: Continue reading

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The Quirky Temple On Miyajima Missed By Many Visitors

 

The number one reason most people visit Miyajima is of course to see the floating torii gate which is part of Itsukushima Shrine. I have been to Miyajima a fair few times over the years and thought I knew the island quite well but then I saw something on YouTube about this temple and was quite surprised to discover Continue reading

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TF Flashback: Fun & Adventure In The “Last Frontier” Of The Philippines (2007)

 

Kind, friendly and hospitable people, lovely turquoise-green waters, amazing islands, (mostly) great weather, good snorkelling and lots of adventure were the key ingredients of one of my all-time favourite trips to the Phillippines fifteen years ago.

I was a little wary of what lay ahead as I hit the streets of Manila on my first night. It didn’t take long for Continue reading

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