Dining Out: Trying Vegetarian Ramen For The First Time!

When it comes to ramen, there are many tastes and regional variations whether it be shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (pork bone broth) in Kyushu or miso ramen which is served up in Hokkaido. On top of that come the crazy novelty ones which include things like cheese, coffee, ice-cream, tequila, kiwi, ham, lemonpineapple, sake and so on. The kind of things that the true ramen masters would most definitely turn their nose up at!

Other than the soup itself the chashu meat and egg are two of my favourite parts of any ramen dish but how would I fare at eating vegetarian ramen without either of those ingredients? Continue reading

Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Table Tennis Match Was The Women’s Title Decider & It Was Epic!

Each and every time the Olympics take place I often find myself watching a fair amount of table tennis. It’s not because I’m particularly interested in it but it’s just that the Japanese TV broadcasters seem to show it a lot. That’s probably not too surprising as there are a lot of very good players with Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani being the ones I remember the most from both the singles and the mixed doubles.

In my attempt to see a few sports I’ve never seen before I noticed the T.League Play Off Finals were taking place in Tokyo so booked a couple of tickets last month when it was only known that Continue reading

Posted in Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Back & Forth To Visit All The Stations Of Kanagawa’s Coastal Line


When I went to every station on Kawasaki’s industrial Tsurumi Line in one day a few years ago it was expected to be a one-off but on something of a whim I then decided to do likewise on another interesting train line in the same prefecture. This time it was the Enoshima Electric Railway (also known as the Enoden Line) in Kanagawa Prefecture where the iconic Continue reading

Posted in Japan Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Time To Watch Futsal In Japan But Will It Be My Last?

Until I started teaching in Japan I have to admit that I had never heard of this form of football, and I even thought the students were making mistakes and that futsal may have been a Japanese-English word. It’s relatively unknown back in the UK but is popular in the likes of Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Japan.

Futsal has similarities to five-a-side football, and is something I’ve been meaning to go and experience for quite a few years now. The F. League is Japan’s top league for the sport, and having Continue reading

Posted in Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TF Flashback: Pristine White Beaches, Turquoise Seas, Snorkelling & Horse Riding In The Crown Jewel Of The Philippines (2008)


Times were very different in the late 2000s when I would pretty much go abroad every time I had at least four consecutive days off. Of the eight countries I visited in 2007, my trip to Palawan in the Philippines was perhaps the most enjoyable. Subsequently I decided to return to the country the following year to see a different island and my girlfriend-of-that-time joined me too for our first trip together.

Boracay island is considered to be the crown jewel of the country thanks to the beautiful White Beach on the west coast but we had to Continue reading

Posted in Asia Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby! My Return To Kashiwa’s Secondary Stadium After 19 Years!

Like many people in Japan I was keen to see some domestic rugby on the back of the country hosting a successful World Cup in 2019. However, Covid_19 came along and a lot of the momentum for rugby’s growth was lost. With limited knowledge of the Top League, I decided back in late 2019 that I’d like to see Continue reading

Posted in Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alphabet Dating In Japan With My Wife Who Was Still Completely Unaware Of The Task At Hand! (S02E02 F-J)


Season one (as well as the prequel season zero) of alphabet dating certainly pushed the boundaries of what a “date” is, and that continues in season two with some very tenuous examples for each letter of the alphabet. For the record, doing something together (no matter what it is!) counts as a date in this series which is not always about visiting glamorous places and doing exciting things but just getting out there and exploring locations we wouldn’t normally go to. Without further ado, lets continue with the second part of season two…

F is for Back Continue reading

Posted in Food & Drink, Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

8 Days In Hiroshima: A Milk Carton Building, A Star Wars Cafe, Abandoned Stations, Snowy Hot Springs, Japan’s Best Value Meal, Train Trips, Waterfalls, Boat Race, Family Time & More!


One of the things which first comes to mind when thinking of Hiroshima is the local delicacy okonomiyaki and within minutes of arriving back in the city for the first time in 12 months we were tucking into some although Continue reading

Posted in Food & Drink, Japan Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#WeStopAtNothing! Visiting All The Platform Zero Stations In Niigata

There are 43 stations in Japan that have a platform zero. They are dotted around the whole country with just one or two in 23 of the country’s 47 prefectures. Yamaguchi is the king with five stations but in second place is Niigata with a very respectable four platform zeros. However, nothing could have been Continue reading

Posted in Japan Travel, Quirky Japan | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Quirky-Looking Building Is A Sight For Saur Eyes!!

Just a short time after posting a list of must-see dinosaur-related places in Japan in July last year I came across an attraction-of-sorts which sticks out like a saur thumb and would no doubt have been included in that top ten! Typical!

I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of these pre-historic creatures yet I have managed to visit a fair few places relating to them over the years. Have I become a dino-whore?! This one all came about as I was looking deep for interesting and unique places to visit on my whirlwind three-day trip to Niigata in September. One of the first stops on my final day was Continue reading

Posted in Japan Travel, Quirky Japan | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment