Think of train stations in Japan and the mighty Shinjuku station is sure to come to mind for many people. That is the world’s busiest train station, and Japan monopolises the top 50 list with only five of them not in this country. However, at the other end of the scale are some tiny stations which are usually unstaffed and used by very few commuters.
Prefecture: Continue reading
There are two popular tourist mountains in Ito on the Izu Peninsula. Mount Komuro is famed for its beautiful sea of pink tsutsuji (azalea) flowers in late April or early May each year, and then there`s Mount Omuro which is the more picturesque postcard-perfect volcano. The former is one that I`ve been to a countless number of times as it`s more convenient and far more expansive but the latter takes a bit more effort and planning.
Whilst I have been in the park behind Mount Omuro a few times in the last few years I haven`t Continue reading
The 2018 Netflix series ‘Dark Tourist‘ featured New Zealand journalist David Farrier visiting eight different countries (including Japan) on a mission to visit all manner of places relating to humans suffering in some sort of way whether it be victims of crime, tragic events or natural disasters. Of course, this kind of morbid traversing is nothing new, and people have been visiting these places for many decades but this TV show did help promote the idea of such tourism.
Having visited some famous dark historical sights in the likes of Poland, Germany, Australia, England and Cambodia (to name a few), I have to admit that I am slightly fascinated by such tourism. Japan has a fair number of places historically associated with death and tragedy, and Tokyo Fox has collated them into a series. Each volume will show a mix of relatively unknown places alongside the far more famous (or infamous in some cases!) ones.
1. Japan’s deepest and creepiest Continue reading
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
For many, many months now I have been saying, in the wake of the Covid_19 outbreak, that a huge sense of relief will be felt when the beleaguered Tokyo 2020 Olympics games finally come to an end. I`m sure that still holds true but I reckon there`s a slight sense of disappointment for many that two and a bit weeks of action have flown by in no time, and now there is something of an empty feeling as so often happens when a big sporting tournament finishes.
After so much talk, there was a lot of curiosity regarding the opening ceremony and it seemed to sensibly and calmly reflect the times we live in nowadays. The Japanese got Continue reading
When Olympic tickets went on sale to Tokyo residents in 2019 I applied for many sports but my first choice was the track cycling so I tried for all seven days over the two ballots and managed to win a single ticket on each occasion. Furthermore, they were on consecutive days which made it a lot simpler to manage. It also proved to be a very lucky masterstroke as whilst all events in and around Tokyo became spectator-less, the cycling in Shizuoka Prefecture (both road and track) continued albeit not at full capacity.
The Rugby World Cup in 2019 taught me that away days are great fun so I was more than happy to travel from Tokyo and make it a bigger occasion than just watching something locally. The fact that my Continue reading
When the IOC and the Japanese government decided that spectators would not be present at all for Olympic sports in Tokyo (and surrounding prefectures Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa) it was hugely disappointing for all of those with tickets who were still keen to see live action in some form.
However, a few sports were taking place a bit further afield and I was lucky to have tickets for a couple of them. The likes of Miyagi (football) and Shizuoka Prefectures (road cycling, track cycling) didn`t totally ban spectators though so my Olympic dream was kept alive. Given that audience participation was also prevented in Sapporo and Fukushima I was half expecting Continue reading
Posted in Cycling, Japan Travel, Sport
Tagged 1826 Ono, Covid_19 measures Tokyo 2020, Izu Velodrome, Izu Velodrome Tokyo 2020, Olympic track cycling, state of emergency Tokyo 2020, things to do in shizuoka, Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics 2020 track cycling
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: Dinosaur Slide
Location: 6-11 Continue reading
Little did I know when I visited the virtually abandoned Kokudō Station a few years ago that just a few stops further down the line were some other interesting stations, including one which you can only exit if you work for the company who own the station.
Take the Tsurumi Line bound for Umi-Shibaura and it will take just 11 minutes to be beside the sea. However, it should be noted that trains heading to this coastal station from Tsurumi are Continue reading
Research and preparation before any overseas trip is something I have long done but it hasn’t always been that way. My first overseas trip whilst based in Japan was to South Korea in the early days of January 2006. Along with my friend and colleague Asif we headed off to Seoul for a four night trip with very little knowledge of the capital city and no plan at all.
From our previous travels (not together) we had become used to just turning up at places and booking somewhere by walking in but it seemed that was not the done deal in East Asia so the authorities were a bit suspicious of us at the airport when we were unable to enter details of where we`d be staying. Luckily, Asif had his Continue reading