Tokyo Daytripper: A Tremendous Trio Of Temples In Tochigi

The majority of Tokyoites usually head on up to Tochigi Prefectures to see the majestic temples of Nikko, the onsen at Kinagawa or to eat gyoza in Utsunomiya. Over the last few years I’ve been off the beaten track a bit more when dipping in and out of the area and this time I explored a few places south-east of Utsunomiya.

The Mōka Railway is a small private rail line (17 stops) connecting Shimodate to Motegi and so back in early March (a few weeks before the State of Emergency began in Japan) I headed up that way to see some places of interest. It was a very early start as I left the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre at 6:30 am to cycle to Akabane for the 7:10 train to Shimodate via Oyama. From there it was a local line to Mashiko Station where I handed my ticket to the station attendant as I disembarked at 9:36 from the deserted single-car train.

 

There was no time to hang about in this pottery town as I needed to return to Continue reading

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The Japanese Railway Station That Looks Like A Train!

The train is always standing by for you at this station.

Waiting for a train can often be a nervy situation for many albeit less so in Japan where they often run on time to the second. Such precision means many people time their trips meticulously without too much leeway for any slight delays. As a British guy, I grew up wondering how late the train would be rather than expecting or hoping it’d be on time.

None of that is a problem though at  Continue reading

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Review: Films Set In Japan – Tokyo Pop (1988)

Many people think of “Lost In Translation‘ (2003) as being the pioneer of the modern day film set in Japan but for people of a certain age it is this one from 15 years earlier which perhaps better encapsulates “the real Tokyo”!

When Fran Rubel Kuzui made ‘Tokyo Pop’ it was very much the height of the bubble era for the economy in Japan. It is a delightfully fluffy kitsch piece of ’80s nostalgia with a certain simple charm. On the face of it, it may seem like Continue reading

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TF Recipes #7 – Green Soya Beans & Cheese On Toast

Before I set foot in Japan many, many years ago the idea of eating salted green soya beans (edamame in Japanese) would have been unimaginable for me as my vegetable intake was fairly limited. However, after continuously being given some as a starter dish at some Japanese izakayas I began to develop a taste for such a thing. These edamame beans, which are boiled in their pods, became a regular part of going out for me and sure are a great beer snack.

Everything you need to make this delicacy! (Star Wars figures are optional!)

Fact is that I hardly ever eat them nowadays though as I just don’t go out, and that was actually the case before Covid-19 came along! With so much time being spent inside the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre recently due to this pandemic it should’ve meant a bit more Continue reading

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Star Wars Traveller – Scarif (a.k.a. Canary Wharf Station, UK)

The synopsis of the excellent ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘ (2016) was basically the entire opening crawl from ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’ (1977) and it was the first Star Wars film to introduce locations with on-screen captions. The real filming locations were fairly alluring, and as diverse as Iceland, Jordan, Maldives and Guatemala but the one which features here is a lot less glamorous!

The Death Star plans are kept in a secure facility on Scarif, the planet where the Imperial Security Complex is located. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) infiltrate this complex, and on 91 minutes we see the latter two walking along the platform which is actually Canary Wharf Tube Station on the Jubilee Line in London. For the record, this platform is actually the widest ‘island’ one on the whole Underground system measuring at 17.2 metres.

 

The budget did not allow for creating this additional set, so director Gareth Edwards opted to use Continue reading

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Review: Films Inspired By Japan – Equals (2015)

“Inspired” by Japan may be pushing it but this science fiction romance drama set in a futuristic utopian universe was mostly filmed in Japan so purely for that reason it will be reviewed here on Tokyo Fox! Whenever Japan has been used for filming it’s almost always played itself so this is a fairly unique situation.

Equals‘ is set in a future society where there’s no free thinking or decision making and all emotions are suppressed as they’re considered to be Continue reading

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TF Top 10……Pepsi Japan Flavours (Part 2)

Back in July 2014 there was a hugely successful and popular post on Tokyo Fox covering my favourite Pepsi flavours going back to 2005. Sadly there haven’t been any really strange and unique flavours (Ice Cucumber, Azuki, Shiso etc) since the 2000s but a range of varied tastes have hit the shelves in the last few years so here, in no particular order, is the long awaited and highly anticipated sequel…

Bonus: Pepsi Plum – Japanese ume (plum) is often quite sour but the taste here was far more subtle yet still noticeable enough to provide a new taste. This came out in October 2019 and had zero calories.

10. Pepsi Midnight – I had no idea what Continue reading

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