Don’t Just Pass Through This City In Gifu But Stop Off & See Some Interesting Local Sights

Ogaki is one of those stations I’ve passed through a fair few times when travelling by train between Nagoya and Osaka. Admittedly, I had never had any real desire to stop there but it was realistically as far as I could go (en-route to Wakayama where I needed to be the following evening) after watching Kashiwa Reysol win against Shimizu S-Pulse in Shizuoka Prefecture. I then decided to look around the area on Google Maps and perhaps surprisingly came across a fair few places of interest that I wanted to see, and so it proved to be a good decision to stop there for the night.

After arriving at Ogaki Station at about 10 pm I immediately checked into my pre-booked accommodation just a stone’s throw away. I was absolutely exhausted after a long day and was even tempted to Continue reading

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Going Back & Forth To Visit All The Stations Of Kawasaki`s Industrial Line

With it being located between Tokyo and Yokohama, Kawasaki can often be overlooked or bypassed by people going between Japan’s biggest two cities but it’s not without its own charms. Smelly and noisy industrial works really don’t sound like a sight of sorts but in recent years this zone has gained a niche legion of fans who like to photograph them, particularly when they’re lit up at night. It has a strange, dystopian beauty to it and even boat cruises of the area are available.

The Tsurumi Line in the southeast of Kawasaki was originally Continue reading

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Exploring An Abandoned House In Izu Plus Chainsaw Action, Hot Spring Baths, Lakes, Parks & Dogs

For some people, abandoned buildings (known as haikyo in Japanese) are just dirty and messy structures in poor condition with no redeeming or appealing features but for others they offer quite fascinating insights into the lives of others from bygone eras. My opinion definitely falls into the latter category but maybe that’s just because I’m nosey person!

Izu Peninsula has a fair few abandoned buildings. The only ones I’ve previously been inside have all been former businesses like hotels or shops but on a trip to Ito in September I came across the ruins of an old house in the countryside. I’m not going to reveal it’s whereabouts as I can’t pinpoint the exact location. Besides, it’s probably not wise to give out such information anyway!

 

This particular house seems like it has been vacant and left-alone for Continue reading

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Hats Off To Those Visitors Who Leave Offerings At This Local Shrine!

When entering a place of worship it is respectful to remove a hat from your head but at this quirky shrine all types of headwear are often left as offerings. However, all is not as innocent and harmless as it may seem as there is a rather sinister backstory for why this happens!

This shrine attracts people who believe it is the place to go to pray for health benefits and injury recovery from the neck upwards. How has this happened though?

It is all to do with a Continue reading

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Reverse Your Destiny At These Outdoor Art Installations

If you`ve ever wondered what it would be like to return to the days of exploration and learning as a toddler, then this outdoor art and architectural installation area may be the place to go.

This museum of sorts is the project work of international artist and architects Continue reading

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Foxed In The Head: Cycling To All Inari Shrines In Tokyo’s 23 Wards – #17 Chūō

#17. Chūō

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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The Great Buddha, Monster Hospital, Quality Dog Time, A Sushi Museum & Live J-League Football!

Over the years I`ve visited many really interesting and quirky buddha statues in Japan of varying sizes and materials but arguably the most impressive and famous one is in Kanagawa Prefecture.

 

Kamakura was a slight detour en-route to Izu as I wanted to get some Continue reading

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Izu Coastal Adventures; Eel Flavoured Cola, Unstaffed Stations, Outdoor Hot Spring Baths, Abandoned Buildings & Hiking Courses!

Whilst there are many great places off-shore on the Izu Peninsula, it is naturally the coastline which takes the glory when it comes to the most popular destinations.

 

The Izu Kyūkō Line runs down the east coast and I try to venture further south every time my wife I visit her parents in this part of Shizuoka Prefecture. It`s not always possible due to family commitments but on our last visit in September I managed to get out one afternoon early on in the trip. I took the train down to Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – Kate (2021)

The fairly uninspiring title of this action, crime adventure sadly meant that I didn`t really take too much notice of this slick and stylish revenge assassin film when scrolling through the Netflix content.

 

Thankfully someone aware of my interest in movies set in Japan let me know about it and so I watched the 106 minute thriller back in September a week or two after it appeared on the video-on-demand subscription service.

It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the title-character who shows from the offset that she is meticulously skilled as a deadly assassin as well as a fine martial artist. She is at the height of her game but then Continue reading

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What Can You Expect To See At Japan`s Sushi Museum?

Whenever I come across new and interesting places on the internet or in person I enter them into `Want to go` on Google Maps. Over time I often forget all about them and then when I`m in that area it`s nice to see the green flag icons. Sometimes though I can`t for the life of me remember why a place was recommended or entered, and this was one such example! As much as I love eating sushi, I can`t say I`ve ever been too interested in a museum on it so I can only guess it was highly recommended.

Shimizu Sushi Museum can be found on the second floor of S-Pulse Dream Plaza and was my first stop of the day. It`s located at the back of a Continue reading

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