A day in Hiroshima

This will be a short post and, for obvious reasons, will not be written in my usual, flippant style. Nor could it be.  Although I knew I would find the experience harrowing, I wanted to visit Hiroshima during my time in Japan. I planned to do so on my journey back to Tokyo from Kyushu….

Grand sensei Maezawa and sukiyaki

I returned to Tokyo from Kyushu via Hiroshima on the day my JR Pass expired. Despite successfully absconding to Kanazawa in a train seat-pocket, on the balance of things it had served me well. Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am a sucker for gimmicks so, when I espied an Airbnb listing…

Hakuba Matata and the capsule hotel

Some months previously, a friend from Hong Kong, to whom I shall refer henceforth as “Steve” (mainly because that’s his name), had contacted me to find out my movements in Japan with the goal of our organising a joint skiing trip. The stars (and, more concretely, our diaries) aligned and we set to planning. Steve…

Fish, forests and ferries: my visit to Kyushu

With time remaining on my JR Pass, I decided to make full use of the unlimited travel, by shinkansening (first used as a verb: seen2screen, 02/2017) down to Kyushu, the most south-western of the four main islands that comprise Japan. Unlike on previous journeys, I decided not to con anyone out of their hard-earned cash on…

Maid cafe, Ninja house and Sumo wrestling

This is a post about the good, the great and the kooky of Tokyo life. Maid cafes For those of you unfamiliar with maid cafes the first thing to note is that there is nothing untoward or salacious about them. Whilst a kinkier version almost certainly exists in the weird and wonderful place that is…

Kyoto is 80% Yoko, anagramatically speakingĀ 

Leaving off from my previous post, you find me in the middle of a stay in Kyoto. It is Christmas eve. A  lengthy chitchat over okonomiyaki with Yoko, my Airbnb host, the night before (not the first Yoko and John friendship ever formed, you’ll notice) had given me plenty of ideas of how to spend…

Kyoto part 1: Bamboo-zled by beauty

Leaving Nagoya behind in the rearview mirror (it’s doubtful that trains have these but go with me on the metaphorical ride here), my shinkansen sped towards Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, some 40 mins to the southwest. Where Tokyo boasts of the present and future successes of the Japanese economy, Kyoto showcases, in poetic…