A Week In Ito On The Izu Peninsula

The first few weeks of October were busy for me with three consecutive six day weeks but there was always light at the end of the tunnel as I knew I had a six day holiday in Izu coming up. Typically it was absolutely hammering it down with rain on the first day of our holiday (with a typhoon on the way) but all we really needed to do that day was get to Ito where my father-in-law would pick us up.

My mother-in-law and Momiji the dog were not arriving until a few days later so it was just the three of us to start with. The typhoon resulted in a beautiful day the following day and so we went to Mount Omuro for an easy half-day trip.

A fair bit of time was spent just chilling in the house and doing some work around the house. I did some raking of leaves in the back garden and on the stone steps leading from the house down to the road but wanted to get out for a bit one afternoon so I went to Kawana Beach (below) even though it was a very cloudy, dull and overcast day. Expectations were low and they were just about met!

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A Spook-tacular Halloween (2017)


It’s probably fair to say that costumes and candy are the two main priorities for the kids that come to our annual Halloween party in Hibarigaoka. The latter comes at the end of the party and my job is basically to just Continue reading

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On The Fox Trail……At The TFGOC!

There’s no such thing as a traditional Halloween costume in Japan as witches, vampires and ghosts make way for the likes of Super Mario, Pokemon and so on. Sure, some cosplayers add a bit of scary fake blood to their costumes but there’s no real pressure to conform to what are considered the more common Halloween outfits. With that in mind,  here are some pictures of me and my costume for this year!!

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Contributing To Leicester City Fanzine “The Fox”

Back in the late 1980’s I only had my weekly ‘Match‘ and/or ‘Shoot‘ football magazines for company until I spotted something called ‘When Saturday Comes‘ which I think I initially laughed at as it was only in black and white! What was going on? It seemed it was something called a fanzine offering an unofficial and independent view of football but I was actually laughing for the right reasons when I flicked through it in WHSmith’s.


Not so long after that, I remember seeing one of my mates copies of a Leicester City fanzine called ‘The Fox‘ which he kindly photocopied for me as these were different times and it was really quite difficult for Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #7

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: Snake Park

Location:  Continue reading

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Review: Films Inspired By Japan – Rising Sun (1993)

Sean Connery is of course no stranger to Japanese culture having appeared as James Bond in ‘You Only Live Twice‘ (1967) and here, in this crime film, he portrays a  Japanese specialist working alongside Wesley Snipes to find out who murdered a professional escort after what appeared to be a violent sexual encounter.

This early 90’s film is the one which gave me the idea to expand the ‘set in Japan’ series to ‘inspired by Japan’ so that this kind of movie could be included. It is littered with random Japanese words in the middle of sentences and other such Japanese proverbs and business customs. There’s even a kind of sex scene where a Japanese guy eats sushi  off a naked woman’s body and drinks sake from another girls nipples after she dipped them into the glass!

What is more laughable than that is the name of Connery’s character. John Continue reading

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This Shrine Is A Big Hit With Baseball Fans!


There are thousands of shrines and temples in Japan and the vast majority of them don’t really register with me but I’m always eager to visit those which have featured on screen in some way (movies, music videos, animation etc) or are unique or quirky. This particular shrine has become something of a mecca for baseball fans not that I can really be considered a baseball fan as much as I like to tell anyone that I’m a Hiroshima Carp fan having seen them live a grand total of once!

Ever keen to see such an unconventional place, I recently took the Tobu Tojo line about Continue reading

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