The whole Covid_19 business has meant that I am very grateful that we went back to the UK for the festive season twelve months ago. Admittedly I thought it would be better to go back this December but thankfully my wife persuaded me to go last year instead. Now that was lucky!
Due to the effects of coronavirus this year I, like many other people, were keen to get Christmas underway early this year. Halloween was pretty much cancelled but there were still a few signs of it existing. These days it blends seamlessly into the Christmas season anyway, and nowhere was that more apparent than outside this Continue reading
Posted in English Teaching, Family, Films, Food & Drink, Japan Life
Tagged activities for christmas lessons, Chill Out drink Japan, ideas for christmas english lessons, KITTE Marunouchi, list of Christmas films, Pikachu Mister Donut, tokyo dome city, watching all Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas 2020 movies, Wrap myself in paper
Earlier this year, when I came up with the ridiculous idea of cycling round every Inari Shrine (on Google Maps!) in all of Tokyo’s 23 wards the one I most dreaded doing was Ota-ku as it’s the furthest south and would be a mammoth task. I was not wrong!
This was going to be a long one so an early start was in order. I left the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre at 7:36 am and the 67 minute ride along Kanana-dori Street (Route 318) to my first shrine was cold, uneventful and fairly dull. This was the same route I took on the way to find the mystery drink dispensing vending machine so I didn’t feel the need to stop by some of the same places I went to on that ride such as the architectural wonder that is the Rissho Kosei-kai Headquarters in Nakano. For the record, the details of that first shrine and all the others won’t appear in a post on this site for at least another 12 months.
What?!! We have to wait a year to see this shrine!!
As I made my way deeper into Ota Ward I passed the Continue reading
Posted in Cycling, Japan Travel, Quirky Japan
Tagged Anamori Inari Shrine, big torii gate Haneda Airport, cycling to Haneda Airport, Haneda Airport, Haneda Swing Bridge, Inari Shrine Ota Ward, Shinmei Daijingu Honmiya, Suganuma Chassis Pool, Umihotaru, Yamato Industrial building
This lame and lazy half-assed compilation post idea was ushered in at the end of 2018 with an eye on permanently replacing the ‘TF Top 10……Filming Location Trips For (year)’ series which has long been running out of steam and will surely need replacing in a year or two if I am unable to go on an overseas trip! 2020 has been a lean year in terms of travel so a fair number of these photos were taken much closer to home than was the case in 2018 and 2019 . They say a picture paints a thousand words so rather than write a load of words about these photos, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
1. Tove Jansson Akebono Children’s Forest Park, Saitama Prefecture. More details here
2. Yokoshi Tomonokai Religious Continue reading
Posted in Japan Travel, Quirky Japan
Tagged big lion statue Saitama, Doai Station, iguana crane, Kaiserslautern Park, Kyu Komatsugawa Kōmon, Mōka Station, Osaki-jinja Shrine, Oyaguchi Water Tank, Panda toilet block, RHK Hall, Robot Park, Yabuzuka Quarry Ruins, Yokoshi Tomonokai Religious Association
To prevent the spread of Covid_19 many of Tokyo’s annual Christmas light festivals (more commonly known as illuminations in Japan) have been cancelled this year but there are still a few taking place, and this one in Bunkyo Ward may well have the happiest tree of this holiday season.
Coronavirus hasn’t prevented Tokyo Dome City from displaying winter illuminations for the 16th time. A total of two million LEDs have been used throughout the complex which features the baseball stadium, an amusement park, a sports arena, a spa, a fitness centre, a bowling centre, shops, cafes (including Moomin Bakery & Cafe), restaurants (Bubba Gump Shrimp is here and smiley-themed menus are supposedly available at some of them) and a hotel. For the record, it is completely free to wander around the area but of course the rides (including a roller-coaster that passes through both a hole in one of the buildings) have a fee.
Most of the above had closed for the day when I passed through the area a week ago on the way home from work. This year’s theme is Continue reading
In the last five years it’s become custom to spend the Autumn and early Winter working my way back through all the theatrical Star Wars releases in anticipation of new films in December. However, ‘The Rise Of Skywalker‘ (2019) was the last one for now so wanting to find some kind of replacement this year I decided to finally watch or re-watch the lesser known releases.
Warning: Contains spoilers!
10. The Star Wars Continue reading
Curry and rice is basically my daily staple at work. It’s cheap, relatively low in calories (172 kcal), quick and easy to make. Back in early October my colleague Sharlotte saw me about to prepare one of these curries (I don’t think the words “cook” or even “make” can be used for just putting a package in the microwave for a couple of minutes!) and mentioned a unique coloured curry she’d seen online. Not only that but it turns your poop blue! I was keen to put it to the test.
She said she’d come across Sonic the Hedgehog blue curry but the boxes were not sold in shops or individually. Instead they had to be purchased in a pack of five boxes for ¥2700 (£19.50/$26) but I said I’d happily buy a couple of them (¥540 each) to share the cost. Sharlotte didn’t waste any time and ordered them there and then. Click on this link if you want to buy a package.
Naturally, I had completely forgotten about it all until she whipped out 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
Construction work is often a menace to tourists who have their perfect picture postcard moments ruined by the sight of some scaffolding. This structure though has become quite the spectacle though due to it’s interesting appearance! Usually the sight of a large green lizard-like structure in Tokyo means one thing only but for once this has nothing to do with Godzilla!
Sandwiched between the Sumida and Arakawa Rivers is this green crane which Continue reading
Posted in Cycling, Quirky Japan
Tagged ariake colloseum, Ariake Gymnastics Venue, Gundam statue Odaiba, iguana crane, Megaweb Toyota City Showcase, Palette Town, Shiomi Station, statue of liberty, Things to do in Koto Ward, Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tokyo Baycourt Club Hotel and Spa Resort, Tokyo Big Sight
Now I have to hold my hands up and admit that when I first watched this back in the early days of Tokyo Fox (that’s 2006 by the way!) I said that “I actually quite enjoyed it despite being an overlong Hollywood film (albeit one full of amazing battle scenes) overflowing with cliches.” I gave it an incredible 7/10 rating at that time but I wasn’t exactly a regular watcher of films then not that it means I’m an expert now that I do watch more than the average person!
As a British person, one of the main gripes I have with this film is the lack of the letter U in the title’s second word! If that was the only problem I had then the film’s producers would no doubt be delighted. However, there are quite a few other flaws in this ‘Titanic‘ of the skies-style epic.
One of them (as referenced in the opening paragraph) is it’s Continue reading
Men and motors are two words which often go hand-in-hand but that rather clichéd view of what males like doesn’t apply to me as I’ve never really had any interest in cars. That doesn’t mean I don’t watch ‘Top Gear‘ (or ‘The Grand Tour‘ in later years) but that’s more down to the travelling and adventure part of certain shows. Vehicles with a movie connection is another thing though!
My colleague James (of Mr Kanso and Mr X. fame) told me about this museum in Odaiba and, knowing that I loved all things relating to Continue reading
Posted in Cycling, Films, Japan Travel
Tagged Back To The Future, BMW Isetta 300, Delorean car, Megaweb Toyota City Showcase, odaiba, Sean Connery, Things to do in Koto Ward, time machine, Toyopet Corona