Star Wars & Beyond: The Music Of John Williams Live In Concert

It is often said that the soundtrack for a film is its oxygen, and nowhere is that more apparant than in Star Wars. John Williams was of course the man responsible for composing the scores for the nine Skywalker movies which really give the saga its lungs. Williams is arguably the greatest composer of all time and famed for the soundtracks to the likes of Jaws, Indiana Jones, Superman, E.T., Jurassic Park and Star Wars plus many, many more. You know that though!

In the last couple of years there have been some classical music concerts in Tokyo celebrating the magic of John Williams. I was unable to attend those but when I saw the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra would be performing a show last month I Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #40 – Egypt Park

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: Egypt Park

Location: Wanpaku Park, 2-9-6 Continue reading

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This Unique Fish Shrine Is A Great Plaice To Visit

From time to time one needs to trout themselves to a day out so earlier this year I went to one of Tokyo’s neighbouring prefectures. It was a ridiculously early start as I left home just after 5:00 am and took a near-four hour local train journey to a plaice which has developed as a fishing town since the middle of the 17th century. There were quite a few things I wanted to see and do on this epic day trip, and one of them was to visit a very unique Continue reading

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Visiting Every Station On The Quaintest Rural Line In The Greater Tokyo Area


Whilst all city stations in Japan are generally in very good condition, the countryside ones can be a different story. One such place that I’d seen online which looked like it was stuck in a bygone era was located in one of Tokyo’s neighbouring prefectures and I finally ventured out the way to see it at the start of this year.

Just a couple of days after returning from my Hiroshima adventures, I embarked on a near-four hour local train journey to the Continue reading

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This Piglet Cafe in Tokyo Makes You Squeal With Joy!

Seeing the words “pig cafe” may make some people think that this is a place specialising in pork-based dishes but thankfully this is just the latest in a never-ending line of animal-based cafes in Japan.


First there were cat and dog cafes, and then the likes of rabbits, reptiles, owls, hedgehogs, capybara and so on followed suit. A few years ago, I heard about this pig cafe via YouTube and added it to my list of places to go. Admittedly, it took Continue reading

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TF Flashback: The Northern Delights of Vietnam – Hanoi, Sapa & Halong Bay (2013)

Vietnam is a deceptively big country – over one and a half thousand kilometres from north to south, although only around 50 km wide at its narrowest point. With these long distances in mind, I could only ever get round the southern part on my first trip there in 2006.

However, a decade ago my girlfriend (now wife!) and I spent some time in the north starting off in the capital city Hanoi which was buzzing with atmosphere, particularly in the Old Quarter where motorcycles zip around the streets day and night in a place where traffic lights are few to non-existent. These thousands of motorcycles provide a constant soundtrack of angry insect swarms and beeping horns!

The city throngs with Continue reading

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Alphabet Dating In Japan With My Wife Who Was Still Completely Unaware Of The Task At Hand! (S02E03 K-O)


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 season two and what we did for the third set of letters…

K is for Continue reading

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12 Hours In Niigata City: Fine Views, Castle Ruins, Architecture, Statues, Football, Local Sweets & Friends Reunited!!

When I started to plan this trip to Niigata I was expecting to stay in the city centre but the high prices of hotels there meant that I had to look further afield. It was a blessing in disguise really as that meant I got to experience some Continue reading

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This Star Wars Galaxy Is Not So Far, Far Away As It’s Just In Tokyo (But For A Limited Time!)


For the last few years now, Star Wars has been all about the medium of TV with Disney Plus churning out shows at quite a rapid rate. In just the last 15 months or so there has been ‘The Book of Boba Fett‘, ‘Obi Wan Kenobi‘, ‘Andor‘, season two of ‘The Bad Batch‘ and the third season of ‘The Mandalorian‘. Presumably, the latter is Continue reading

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Watching The Non-League Football Team Inspired By A Japanese Cartoon Hero!

The iconic Captain Tsubasa has appeared in various comic book magazines, cartoons and video games since its creation in 1981. It became one of the most memorable manga and anime worldwide, and really helped popularise football in Japan. Some of the footballers inspired by Tsubasa include Lionel Messi, Alessandro Del Piero, Fernando Torres, Zinedine Zidane, Hidetoshi Nakata, and Andrés Iniesta.

At the start of one of the stories, Tsubasa and his mum move to a fictional town in Shizuoka Prefecture called Nankatsu. Tsubasa ended up playing for a selection team called Nankatsu SC, consisting of the best players among the schools in the city. However, fiction turned into reality a Continue reading

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