Nō Way Did This Happen! A Chance Encounter Amidst Some Station Hopping In A Forgotten Corner Of Niigata

Once I’d experienced a couple of sights at Echigo-Yuzawa (including the 110 sake vending machines), I travelled north-west for about two and a half hours to my  accomodation in Niigata Prefecture. The tatami room at Yado Bar Cafe Tatsuji was basic but did the job of giving me a place to rest at the end of a long day of travel. The owner seemed like a very nice guy but we didn’t chat too much as I arrived late and checked out early.


The unstaffed Minami Takada station was my first stop very early the following morning but I didn’t Continue reading

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Mount Fuji Views & Quirky West Coast Travels In Izu

There was a time when one could always rely on the August O-bon holiday season being a hot and sunny time but this year again consisted of lots of rain albeit not as much as last year! The weather at the start of our trip though was actually pretty good and the usual trip to Komuroyama Park on day one even offered a sight of Mount Fuji in the distance which always adds to the appeal of this lovely, vast, spacious place.


Away from Tokyo and with barely anyone else around, our Continue reading

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TF Flashback: First Trip To China -The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Peking Duck, Grasshoppers, Crickets & Snake! (2007)

Although I’d been to both Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2006 I was still itching to visit mainland China so one year later I decided to head to capital city Beijing (via a transit in Shanghai) for a short break. These were very different times when I used to frequently take holidays overseas and indeed this trip to China was on the back of travels in the Philippines, India and Australia in the same year!

Due to the language barrier I was a bit more apprehensive than usual about having to navigate my way to my hotel by bus, subway and on foot during a time before smartphones! Fortunately, I Continue reading

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London Filming Locations: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

It’s very rare that sequels are released over five decades after the original but that is what happened with Mary Poppins back in 2018. Incedibly, it’s not actually the longest gap between films in a franchise as that record goes to the ‘Bambi‘ movies which were  64 years apart.

The original ‘Mary Poppins‘ (1964) is a much-loved classic film that many, many generations have grown up with. So much of the movie, particularly the songs, are iconic so making a sequel 54 years years later was a pretty daunting challenge for director Rob Marshall. It was never going to be as impactful as the original but Continue reading

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TF Top 10……Football Match Day Experiences In 2022


Having only watched a single game in each of the last two seasons I really was not expecting to do too many more matches this year, especially with the strict Covid_19 measures still in place for much of the season. However, I ended up going to 11 live games at 10 different stadiums. A few of them have had their own blog posts during 2022 but the majority of them weren’t really considered to be worthy of a solitary post so I have collated them into this rankings list. It’s certainly not one to be taken too seriously as it’s based on a mixture of Continue reading

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Pain & Glory! The Story Of Cycling To All Inari Shrines In Tokyo’s 23 Wards

As I stood with my bicycle at the Itoku Inari Daimyojin in Shinjuku mid-November last year I felt no other emotion than a bit of relief. I had completed my fairly pointless mission of cycling to every single Inari Shrine (as listed on Google Maps!) for each of Tokyo’s 23 wards.

That celebration was purely for the camera and I really wasn’t feeling that emotional!

It had taken me 19 months to get to that point and on 23 separate days I had visited Continue reading

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Cheap Alcohol Vending Machines Aplenty Inside A Train Station!

Even though I almost never buy anything from them, the sight of a vending machine dispensing alcohol (usually beer) always catches my attention. Such machines are certainly not so common in city centres anymore so imagine how surprised I was to see that you could buy 110 different types of sake from an auto dispenser. Not only that but it was in a train station too!

The first major stop on my recent trip to Niigata Prefecture was Continue reading

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Retrospective Alphabet Dating In Greater Tokyo S00E04: N-R


Whilst season two of alphabet dating is taking place I thought I could fill that void with a restrospecive series which is certainly an easier operation as they were not done in alphabetical order which can be a little stressful and frustrating at times.

Season 0 will throw back to places and things we’ve done in Greater Tokyo since 2011. I generally hate the term Continue reading

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TF Top 5……Public Toilet Designs In Tokyo! (Urine For A Treat!)

To celebrate the unofficial toilet day on November 10th in Japan I have decided to deposit a compilation of my favourite public lavatories in Tokyo. The Tokyo Fox site sure is plumbing to low depths but hopefully you will be bowel-ed over and end up thinking it’s an excrement idea!

Japan is such a backwards country at times when it comes to many things but if they put just half as much effort into those things as they do in coming up with toilet ideas then it really might help move the country Continue reading

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Travels On The West Coast Of Izu Peninsula For The First Time

Countless trips to Izu over the last few years have tended to dominate the travel content on Tokyo Fox but absolutely none of it was of places on the west coast of the Peninsula. Whilst the north, the east, a bit of the south and some of the central area are accessible by train, the west really is inconvenient without the use of a vehicle.

I have considered taking a series of buses to get over to that side before (it is possible and I do often have the time!) but always decided against it and thought Continue reading

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