Alphabet Dating In Japan With My Wife Who Was Completely Unaware Of The Task At Hand! (S01E05: U-Z)


When I heard this idea on the radio a few years ago I thought it might be something that I could try as a way of motivating myself to go to some places with my wife that I’m usually not too interested in. I did think of suggesting it to her and then taking it in turns to come up with things to do for each letter but I thought she would dismiss it as a silly idea straight away so decided to keep it secret.

If you haven’t seen part 4 (P-T) then please click here to read that

The rules are quite simple. Do something for each letter going in alphabetical order. It would be quite easy to do an A-Z of dining out experiences so I decided that should be limited to Continue reading

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There’s Not Just One But Two Sex Museums In This Area Of Gunma

I didn’t even notice the huge dong on this guy when I was there!

Does any place really need two sex museums? One is surely enough for anyone but this place just a couple of hours north of Tokyo has two of them, and they are just 15 minutes apart on foot. I’m not sure what it says about me but I visited both of them back at the start of this year with the Toy, Doll & Car Museum sandwiched in between them for a bit of normality…if such an eclectic mix of random items could Continue reading

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The Abandoned Hotel On The Izu Coast Which Is Still “Open” To The Public!!

Head down to the coast from Izu-Ōkawa Station (a ten minute walk) and one of the first things you’ll see is an abandoned hotel with peeling beige walls surrounded by palm trees. I was not even aware of this place beforehand as I was just in that area to see Lion Rock. However, once I was done at the animal-shaped rock formation, I returned to the area outside the hotel and was quite surprised to see how completely open to the public it was. For those unaware, such abandoned buildings (and there are many in Japan!) are usually Continue reading

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TF Recipes #8 – Choco Mint Ice Cream & Fermented Soy Beans On Toast

Chocomint is something of divisive taste in Japan. Whilst there are some big fans (I follow a couple of Japanese Instagram accounts purely devoted to chocomint products!!) I think the majority of people generally dislike it, and often say it’s like eating toothpaste! That does make me a little sad to hear as it is my favourite flavour but each to their own. Chocomint was fairly scarce in Japan until the last few years which have seen something of a boom in chocomint products, particularly in the Summer months.

Another food which polarises opinion is natto a.k.a. fermented soy beans. It is the one Japanese dish which can meet resistance from foreigners and Japanese alike due to its strong smell. On top of that, it’s also incredibly Continue reading

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TF Flashback: World Cup Museum & Stadium Tour In Seoul (2006)

The FIFA World Cup came to Asia twenty years ago when it kicked off on May 31st. This particular tournament is one that I’ve reminisced about a fair few times with regard to the effect it had on my decision to eventually move to Japan. Over the years I have waxed lyrical about this World Cup each time I’ve visited stadiums in the likes of Yokohama, Saitama, Shizuoka, Sendai, Kobe, Kashima and Sapporo as well as the Japan Football Museum in Tokyo.

That tournament wasn’t just in Japan though as it was co-hosted with Korea and I sometimes forget that. Fact is that the first stadium I visited from that World Cup was in Continue reading

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There’s A Rock & It Looks Like A Lion!! I’ll Believe That When I See It!

Just as I was about to take the train back home from Izu-Ōkawa Station last year I noticed a billboard on the platform advertising something called Lion Rock. That was bad timing as I was about to leave the area and wouldn’t be back in Izu for many more months.

Having saved it in my ‘Want to go’ section on my maps app I was quite surprised to come across it (as I’d completely forgotten all about it!) when I was looking at places to visit during the Japanese Golden Week holiday earlier this month. Before checking out the images online I was fairly sceptical of claims that such a rock looks like a lion but Continue reading

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Unstaffed Stations Of Japan #9 – Nukazawa

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.

Station: Nukazawa

Prefecture: Continue reading

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Dining Out: Trying A Couple Of Unique Regional Burgers

A few months ago there was an article on whacky Japanese news site Sora News 24 about seven alternative regional burgers in Japan. The one that caught my eye was the kitsune burger in Toyokawa (Aichi Prefecture) but it’s difficult to imagine revisiting there anytime too soon. A far easier one to try was in Shizuoka Prefecture and it just happened to be available in a city I’d be visiting during the Japanese Golden Week holiday in early May.

At the north-western end of the Izu Peninsula is a port city called Continue reading

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Foxed In The Head: Cycling To All Inari Shrines In Tokyo’s 23 Wards – #23 Shinjuku

#23. Shinjuku 

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

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Hikone Filming Locations: 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)

Think of a Japanese castle which has featured in a couple of movies and the majority of people will no doubt say Himeji-jo in Hyōgo Prefecture. However, there is another one and that is Hikone-jo in Shiga Prefecture. It was used in ‘The Hunted‘ (1995) but a couple of years before that it also appeared in this kids adventure movie where a trio of young martial artists face their grandfather’s enemies when they follow him to Japan to deliver a priceless dagger.

The fun part of movie location hunting for me is getting out there and tracking down the places used and trying to replicate the same angle as accuarately as possible. That all takes time and money though but thankfully one can actually do this hobby Continue reading

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