Our Owl Cafe Experience Was A Right Hoot!


When it comes to planning what to do with my free time, I’m fairly organised but there are occasions when spontaneity does come into the equation and one such moment came on the back of our (pre-planned) trip to the school dinner restaurant in Shin Okachimachi. My wife and I were walking through Okachimachi leading to Ueno station and en-route we saw Owl Nest Cafe which my animal-loving other half couldn’t resist and so we Continue reading

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Star Wars Plane Spotting At Haneda Airport


Transportation has always been a major part of Star Wars films and animation with all manner of starships, tie fighters, starfighters, landspeeders, podracers, speeder bikes, shuttles and so on featured throughout the saga. At the end of 2015 I was lucky enough to see two of those iconic starfighters docked at Changi Airport in Singapore but this time I was able to see one of ANA’s specially decorated Star Wars planes actually in motion.

The R2D2 and BB-8 planes were introduced by ANA in the build up to the much anticipated release of ‘The Force Awakens‘ (2015) and there was also the Star Wars Rapi:it train in Osaka which I rode on Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you” and all that!) last year.

Whilst I was in the Haneda area ‘On The Fox Trail…‘ at the end of March, I thought it would be worth seeing if any of the Star Wars planes would be at Haneda Airport that day. I asked a friend who knows all that kind of stuff and by luck the Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – The Forest (2016)

The infamous Aokigahara, known as Suicide Forest in Yamanashi prefecture, has inspired a few films in recent years such as ‘The Sea Of Trees‘ (2015), TV movie ‘Grave Halloween‘ (2013) and then there was this horror and by that I am referring to it’s genre although many people would say that word sums up this 93 minute film!


The film opens with Sara receiving a phonecall from someone saying that they saw her twin sister Jess go in to Aokigahara forest; a 35-square-kilometre forest lying at the north-west base of Mount Fuji. She goes to Japan and it’s Yasukuni Dori time as she is driven down the famous Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #3

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: Tyre Monster

Location:  Continue reading

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Dining Out: School Dinner Time

Most of my knowledge on British school dinners actually comes from the documentary series ‘Jamie’s School Dinners‘ (2005) which saw the celebrity chef on a mission to change the terrible habits of schools around the UK. He attempted to improve their  quality and nutritional value which subsequently led to a broader campaign to improve them throughout Britain. My experience of school dinners was limited to just a few occasions as I almost always took a packed lunch. As a fairly fussy eater back then I was more than happy with that though!

Japanese school meals are very different and not just because there aren’t any Turkey Twizzlers in sight! They are much healthier which may explain the low child obesity rate in this country but as I don’t work in an elementary or high school I have obviously never been able to experience what they’re like here and how they differ. That is until now…


Kyushoku Toban is a kind of themed restaurant which serves up Japanese school dinners and my Continue reading

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A Couple Of Hours In Kōfu


Yamanashi is one of 47 prefectures in Japan and it is probably most famed for it’s many high mountains including the awesome Mount Fuji which is of course the tallest in the country and one that they share with neighbouring prefecture Shizuoka. The capital of Yamanshi is Kōfu city which is where Jack (of Rambling Northerner fame) and I were last Sunday to see the J1 league match between Ventforet Kōfu and Albirex Niigata at the Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium.

Like our Mito trip in February, this was another early start and I left the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre just after 7am to get to Takao for a 9am rendezvous with Jack near the Continue reading

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Around The Grounds

Avid readers of JSoccer magazine (Japan’s number one quarterly football magazine in English!) have been following the ground hopping of Tokyo Fox for the last few issues which has taken in stadia from all over the country (Okinawa, Hiroshima, Kobe, Kashiwa,  Kashima, Sapporo etc). There have been three parts to the series so far and I’m keen for  a fourth one too. That will include Mito Hollyhock, the two featured in this post and hopefully I’ll visit a couple more during the Golden Week holiday coming up at the end of April.

At the end of last season and the start of this one, I have mostly been to lower league grounds but last Sunday myself and Jack (of Rambling Northerner fame!) ventured on over to Yamanashi prefecture to see a J1 side. Ventforet Kofu play at the Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium in Kofu which is a Continue reading

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