TF Top 10……Songs About Japan From The 2000s

 

For many decades now, international artists have often felt the need to put pen to paper and write some lyrics about their Japanese experience, particularly visiting Tokyo. Most of the songs are far from being their greatest work but for Japanophiles they can offer an interesting insight into a culture which used to be a mystery to many people in the western world. Without further ado, here is the Tokyo Fox top ten……songs about Japan from the 2000s…

10. Harajuku Girls Continue reading

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Foxed In The Head: Cycling To All Inari Shrines In Tokyo’s 23 Wards – #11 Sumida

#11. Sumida

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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Get Up Close With A Nakagin Capsule Tower Block Prototype At This Museum Just North Of Tokyo

Built in 1972 as a monument to a promised ideal that never came to fruition, the Nakagin Capsule Tower (8-10-6 Ginza, Chūō-ku) continues to be popular with photographers wanting to capture it’s unique architecture. The building is basically two towers consisting of elevators and plumbing with 140 capsules attached like jenga blocks. It was claimed to be the tower of the future whereas these days it is a bit of a vacant rust bucket!

There was a time when you could stay in a couple of the capsules via Air bnb (at ludicrously high rates of  ¥80,000 – ¥100,000 per night! That’s £530 – £660 or $730 – $910!!), and in the last few years it has become possible to do 45 minute tours of the place for Continue reading

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Dining Out: Slurping Away At One Of The World’s Cheapest Michelin Starred Restaurants!

Avid readers of this site would be forgiven for thinking that I only eat weird ramen dishes, but I do have regular ramen from time to time. That’s just not blog-worthy but after finding out about a Michelin star ramen restaurant I decided to sample it. Twice.

 

Back in the UK last year, ‘Paul Hollywood Eats Japan‘ aired on Channel 4 but I just wasn’t able to get hold of it until this year when it appeared on YouTube. Fearing it would be taken down I thought I should quickly consume all three episodes. The first one featured Tokyo and saw the baker extraordinaire visit a Michelin starred ramen restaurant.

Little did I know that Continue reading

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Dark Tourist (Japan Special) Vol. 03

The 2018 Netflix series ‘Dark Tourist‘ featured New Zealand journalist David Farrier visiting eight different countries (including Japan) on a mission to visit all manner of places relating to humans suffering in some sort of way whether it be victims of crime, tragic events or natural disasters. Of course, this kind of morbid traversing is nothing new, and people have been visiting these places for many decades but this TV show did help promote the idea of such tourism.

Having visited some famous dark historical sights in the likes of Poland, Germany, Australia, England and Cambodia (to name a few), I have to admit that I am slightly fascinated by such tourism. Japan has a fair number of places historically associated with death and tragedy, and Tokyo Fox has collated them into a series. Each volume will show a mix of relatively unknown places alongside the far more famous (or infamous in some cases!) ones.

1. The rabbit island with a history so contrasting to it’s cuteness appeal. Continue reading

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Tokyo Modern Architecture #8

For all its good points, Tokyo ain’t half one ugly looking city with buildings pretty much erected (and pulled down) willy nilly without any thought to the environment around it. However, amid all the chaos of such a concrete jungle there are a fair few examples of modern architecture which I am ever keen to photograph. Now, I am certainly no expert on such a topic but have enjoyed going around capturing the interesting and weird designs of some of these buildings. Here, in no particular order, is the next volume of interesting looking Japanese buildings including the addresses:

1. Nicolas G. Hayek Center, 7-9 Ginza, Chūō-ku.

2. Tokyu Continue reading

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TF Flashback: Seoul Olympic Stadium (2006)

Research and preparation before any overseas trip is something I have long done but it hasn’t always been that way. My first overseas trip whilst based in Japan was to South Korea in the early days of January 2006. Along with my friend and colleague Asif we headed off to Seoul for a four night trip with very little knowledge of the capital city and no plan at all.

These were very different times (a pre wi-fi and smart phone era!) and I didn’t have a guide book so when discussing what to do I came up with the idea of going to the Olympic Park as all I really knew about the country was that Seoul had Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – Destination Tokyo (1943)

Just when I thought I had covered the majority of films set in Japan from the 1940s another load suddenly emerged from the depths of nowhere such as this submarine adventure. Those who have read all of these reviews will no doubt be aware that I’m not really a fan of such old movies but will this one be any different?

Destination Tokyo‘ is a black and white movie known as the granddaddy of submarine films. It stars Cary Grant (Captain Cassidy) and John Garfield (Wolf) and would not be the former’s only film set in Japan as he would return to the country over two decades later in Continue reading

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Tokyo Daytripper: The Big Stone Buddha Face, Beautiful Landscape Gardens, A Free Buffet & Another Platform Zero!

Gunma was admittedly one of those prefectures I always thought was a little bit boring but it’s good to have been proved wrong following a fair few day trips there in recent years. In these travel-restricted times I haven’t really been anywhere else, and just a couple of days after this most recent trip in the early days of January the soft lockdown (known as State of Emergency in Japan) kicked in again.

From Ikebukuro, the Shonan-Shinjuku line took me up to Takasaki which turned out to be far more than just a transit station as it was home to a platform zero, and fortunately it was located on the Jōshin Line which was what I needed to use.

There’s something slightly mystical and Harry Potter-like about Continue reading

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London Filming Locations: Fast And Furious 6 (2013)

Fast 5‘ (2011) was the film that really got me (rather belatedly!) into the franchise and ‘Fast & Furious 6‘ (2013) was a strong follow up albeit one very far removed from its street racing origins! This sixth instalment is set in the Canary Islands, Moscow, London, Los Angeles and Lusitania (Spain) but in reality it was mostly filmed in Glasgow and London. 

After just four minutes it’s Russia on screen as US Diplomatic Security Service Agents Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his new partner Riley Hicks (Gina Carano) check out the destruction of a Russian military convoy. The wreckage of all this is not really Moscow but Lambeth Bridge (below) at Millbank on the River Thames in London.

 

The Interpol Headquarters in Moscow is shown on five minutes but Continue reading

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