Deep Historical Walking Tour Of Tokyo With Students

Over the years I’ve done my fair share of Tokyo-based tours albeit usually on bicycle and all by myself. Not this time though as it was as part of a weekend event put on by the school that I work for. Communication Skill Up was the Japanese-English used on the flyers promoting the event which saw about 15 students from the Kanto area gather for two days of special English lessons and activities.

The first day consisted of 4 x 50 minute lessons and I was lucky in some ways to be teaching the upper-intermediate/advanced level students but, with the same materials provided for all levels, I needed to Continue reading

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On The C*cks Trail……In Chiba!!


The ‘On The Fox Trail…’ series on Tokyo Fox has generally included a fair number of shrines around Japan but for this one it’s more a case of going on the c*cks trail, if you will! As ever, I was unable to resist the lure of such a quirky place and so I ventured on over to Chiba prefecture recently to check out this small shrine.

The closest station is Continue reading

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A Day In Kawasaki City

The only times I usually set foot in Kawasaki are to either watch Kawasaki Frontale in the J.League or to see a load of c*cks! Yes, you did read that right as Kawasaki is home to the annual Kanamara Matsuri (a.k.a. the p*nis festival!) at the start of April each year. However, this time I decided to check out some b-grade spots in the Kawasaki city area which lies just over the border from Ota ward in Tokyo.

Let’s start with what I think is the most interesting of the “sights” I saw a few weeks ago. North of Keikyu Kawasaki station (about 15 minutes on foot) is an area known as Kawaramachi which is home to an interesting architectural building designed by Sachio Otani.


This building (number 3) was part of the Kawaramachi High Rise Housing Project and was completed in 1972 with it’s design intended as Continue reading

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London Filming Locations: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Of course I’d seen bits and pieces of Bond films on TV but it wasn’t until Pierce Brosnan’s second outing as 007 that I actually saw one in it’s entirety and there was no looking back after that. For that reason ‘Tomorrow Never Dies‘ (1997) will always hold a special place in my heart and it still remains one of my favourites.

The courtyard of Somerset House (below) at The Strand was used as MI6 HQ where Bond is summoned to on 23 minutes. Two years earlier the same place doubled up as St Petersburg in ‘GoldenEye’ (1995). This place is a short distance from Temple tube station and also appears as scenery footage at the start of ‘Love Actually‘ (2003).

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 19.46.26 Dec2010-Jan2011 205

The Atlantic Hotel garage in Hamburg (Germany) is actually the  Continue reading

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Water Fasting For 75 Hours! (No Food, Only Water)

Many people often do some kind of detox after the excess of Christmas and/or New Year but I continued in the festive spirit in to the early days of March! Since my bicycle accident last month I haven’t really been able to do any exercise so last Monday I stopped eating chocolate, crisps, junk food etc but it wasn’t until Tuesday that the idea of doing this water fasting entered my mind.

Just in case you didn’t know what bottles of water look like!

As the name suggests, water fasting is where you don’t eat any food (not even chewing gum or breath fresheners!) and only drink water (no tea or other drinks) for a time period. Medical advice generally suggests anywhere from 24 hours to three days as the maximum time to go without food. When I started this challenge on Thursday morning (March 8th) at 11:11 am (*) I was really only thinking to do Continue reading

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Have A Whale Of A Time At This Tokyo Shrine!


There really does seem to be a never ending supply of interesting little shrines and temples in Japan which is most welcome news for this blogger who is always on the lookout for unique ones whether it be the temple statue that speaks to youthe baseball shrine or the many animal-related ones like the cat temple, the elephant temple or the shrine with a lion from Trafalgar Square in London.

Now I can add whale shrine to that list thanks to a Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #11

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: Whale Park

Location: Continue reading

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