The “Rocky” Steps Of Tokyo (+ Some Hidden Gems Nearby!)

As cities go, Tokyo is a fairly flat city and therefore quite easy to navigate by bicycle as I often tend to do. However, there are some steep hills around Minato ward area including a shrine which stands at the top of some very steep steps that evoke memories (for me!) of when Rocky trained on such similar-style steps to the tune of ‘Gonna Fly Now‘ in the 1976 film.


Atago-jinja Shrine (1-5-3 Atago, Minato-ku) is a whopping 26 metres above sea level and is actually the “highest land in Tokyo’s 23 wards” which is presumably phrased like that as there must be  Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – Hacksaw Ridge (2017)

The word pacifist came up recently in a book I regularly teach from and I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly sure of it’s meaning. Having looked it up, I realised that the main character in this film was the perfect fit for such a description. Not only does Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) strongly not believe in fighting but he is also a very religious man. But this is a war movie I hear you cry! How can such a person be involved in a war when they will not fight?

Warning: Contains Spoilers!


Well, Doss wants to do what he can for his country and so he Continue reading

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The Best Of The Rest Of Our Time In Hiroshima

It may not have seemed like it (due to many Yamaguchi-related posts) but most of our time was actually spent in Hiroshima. As the title suggests, this is a collection of stuff that didn’t merit it’s own post which may hard to believe when a Lawson convenience store got it’s own entry!

After three very busy days (spread over two trips!) in the bordering prefecture of Yamaguchi the following days were fairly leisurely and lazy (by my standards!) with the highlight being my visit to the driving range for the first time in my life. In my youth I would quite often practice putting in our garden (sometimes even in the living room!) or at the local park’s mini-golf course but it’s been well over twenty years since those days.


I have never used an iron or a club though and as expected it was quite difficult. My father-in-law was very keen to teach me and his tips regarding grip, focus, stance etc really helped. I managed to hit about Continue reading

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Just Look At The Size Of This Train Station In Hiroshima

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 unmanned and used by very few commuters.

Of course there are way simpler and smaller stations out there once you get deep into the countryside but this one is actually in the city, just over half an hour away from Hiroshima station on the Kabe Line.


Kamiyagi station is located in Yagi in Asaminami ward and has a  Continue reading

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This Lawson Convenience Store Is Different To Their Usual Ones

You’re getting a post out of this! Tokyo Fox must surely have run out of material I hear you cry but before I lose you all I should note that this particular convenience store is quite unique in one sense. Japan, particularly Tokyo, is packed full of 24 hour convenience stores and you are rarely ever too far from a 7 Eleven, Family Mart, Lawson, Mini-Stop or Sunkus (other convenience stores are available!). Their bright facades make them very noticeable and Japan’s third most common convenience store (after 7-Eleven and Family Mart) is noticeable for its bright blue and white frontage with the milk can logo.


However, as you may have noticed from the pictures above, this particular conbini (as convenience stores are called in Japan) is predominately red. There are more than Continue reading

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An Excrement Time At Tokuyama Zoo


Ask many foreigners their opinion on Japan and it will more than likely include some kind of reference to something weird and wonderful whether it be a silly TV programme, a funnily named drink, a quirky festival, a strange flavoured food or a themed restaurant. This post certainly does nothing to dispel that stereotype! Continue reading

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Detective Conan Filming Locations

When it comes to doing animation locales, I have rarely ever seen the film or TV show before becoming aware that it’s been based on real locations. I’m definitely not what could be called an animation fan but whenever I hear of a place that has been featured I am keen to check it out. That most recently happened regarding ‘Your Name‘ (2016) and it happened again whilst I was in Hagi (Yamaguchi prefecture) with my wife and her parents in the August obon holiday.

Whilst walking around the streets of the old castle town area we arrived at Enseiji Temple and I have to admit that I had no plan whatsoever to enter it. However, I saw a noticeboard featuring a poster of screenshots and soon realised that an animation had used this temple in one of its story lines. The locales-geek part of me couldn’t let it pass so I paid my 200 yen entrance charge (which included a rather nice old-fashioned poster map of the area) and went for a quick look.

The ‘Detective Conan‘ (1996 – ) animated TV series (known as ‘Case Closed‘ in the USA)  used this place as a basis for one of it’s episodes and so I thought I’d Continue reading

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