#ForceFridayII– The Journey Towards ‘The Last Jedi’ Has Begun


The journey towards ‘The Force Awakens(2015) began around this time two years ago with #ForceFriday and now we have #ForceFridayII to mark the release of its sequel ‘The Last Jedi‘ (2017). As hotly anticipated as this one is, it’s surely not going to be able to replicate the staggering commercial success of a film that fans had to wait over 30 years for!

There wasn’t that much Star Wars activity in Tokyo on #ForceFriday in 2015 (compared to other principle markets like the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Spain) and even less for #RogueFriday last September but this time there were a few events taking place.

Loft in Shibuya, Tsutaya T-Site in Daikanyama and Toys ‘R’ Us in Ikebukuro all had midnight events this time and Tokyo Fox was on hand at Continue reading

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A Night In Nagato And A Trip To Hagi

In the early days of visiting Hiroshima it was like a holiday but after going there so many times it’s fair to say that the number of things to do close to the city centre dries up. As a result, I’ve been looking slightly further afield to the neighbouring prefectures for day trips and so it was really nice to go on a two day trip to a few places in Yamaguchi prefecture with my wife and her parents.

Akiyoshido Cave in Mine city provided the first mornings entertainment and that was followed by Motonosumi Inari Shrine. After that we drove over to an Okijima island (no pictures!) and then on to our ryokan (Japanese style inn often found in hot spring resorts) in Nagato which was difficult to find and involved some very narrow streets. Having checked in, I popped out for a brief wander and pretty much covered the whole area in about 10-15 minutes! It was a very pleasant-looking town and things were ready for the annual matsuri festival the following night.

Dinner (below) was a very elaborate kaiseki-ryōri (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) affair and was rather Continue reading

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Mara-kannon Temple (a.k.a. Penis Temple!)

What better way to start the day than with a temple featuring a load of phallic-shaped structures! As ever with such places there was a slightly more serious meaning behind the facade and one that is of great importance to my wife and I at the moment.


When we left my parents-in-law’s apartment to embark on a short two day-one night trip around some places in Yamaguchi prefecture I wasn’t even Continue reading

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On The Fox Trail……At Motonosumi Inari Shrine (Yamaguchi)

Think of loads of beautiful red torii gates winding their way through a beautiful natural environment and Fushimi Inari in Kyoto is no doubt what comes to mind for almost everyone. However, this particular shrine is a rival contender when it comes to truly beautiful and awe-inspiring landscape. The combination of lush greenery, bright red torii gates and turquoise-blue ocean colours make this a mesmerising place for tourists. It may not be one of the major Inari shrines in Japan but this was the one that I wanted to visit more than any other. The problem though is it’s location!


Lying on the Sea of Japan coast up in Nagato (Yamaguchi-ken) it is very much off the average tourist’s radar. Accessibility is not easy without a car as the nearest station (Nagato-Furuichi) is over Continue reading

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Akiyoshido Limestone Cave In Mine City

It’s been a pretty frantic last seven weeks with trips to Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and in the recent Obon holiday we went to Hiroshima to see my wife’s parents as we often tend to do in such holiday periods. Whilst the former did involve some cave temples in Dambulla, they were quite different to Akiyoshido Cave.

These limestone caves are actually located over the border from Hiroshima in neighbouring prefecture Yamaguchi. I suggested a few places of interest in surrounding prefectures at the dinner table the previous night and my father-in-law decided we’d go to the caves in Mine City which are roughly 150 kilometres away. It wasn’t to be a straightforward day return trip though as it soon Continue reading

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Jogasaki Kaigan Coast


Only a matter of days after I had published all eleven of my Shizuoka-related posts from the Japanese Golden Week holiday, I was back in Izu visiting my in-laws. My wife had already been resting up there the week prior to my arrival and the plan this time was to go to Jogasaki Kaigan Coast. The weather forecast for the day was pretty Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #5

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: Giraffe Slide

Location:  Continue reading

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