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Monthly Archives: June 2017

ATMs in Japan

ATMs in Japan ATMs are something I genuinely took for granted in Australia, that plus our massive network of EFTPOS machines. This allowed us to either withdraw cash from anywhere, or pay by debit or credit card in the vast majority of shops, stores and

Koishikawa Botanical Gardens

Today, as I arrive in Bunkyō Ward, I am overwhelmed. In front of me is the massive Tokyo Dome, the home of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team, but this isn’t why I am here. Outside the stadium there is the strangest roller coaster I have ever

Seven Gods Pilgrimage – Taitoku, Tokyo

Lucky Number Seven Gods of Fortune Today I attempt to go on a pilgrimage. Seven different gods, seven different sacred sites. My first stop is Shingen-ji Temple, Iriya. This temple has two names, Iriya no Kishibojin is the other name used, which just adds to my confusion.

Secret Rice and Sacred Fish

Someone told me yesterday that beneath the banks and office buildings between Mitsukoshimae Station and Otemachi Station, hidden deep underground, the Japanese government grows secret rice. Somewhere along the Ginza Line my train just powers down. All the lights go out, all of the computer screens switch off. The train drifts

Japanese Video Games

Today, I am visiting the Takarazuka University of Art and Design, to see an exhibition pertaining to Japanese video games. After four years of studying, a final project from each student is showcased inside the university, so visitors or potential new students can get a

Yokohama Sightseeing

I am a little way outside of Tokyo, in Yokohama. The area was once a quaint fishing town, where nothing much really happened. After the American people came with their ships, Yokohama opened Japan up to the world of foreign trade, and these days, Yokohama has

Tokyo Skytree Town

Today I take the Tobu Skytree Line just one stop, to Tokyo Skytree Station. If I am completely honest, I could have just walked it, it isn’t far. I blame the convenience of Japan for my laziness. I have been in Tokyo quite a while now, and

Abandoned by Disney

The sun is shining, and my friend Christine and I are on our way to Tokyo Disneyland. A 115-acre theme park in Urayasu, Chiba. A place where dreams come true, apparently. A badly written but strangely popular guidebook suggests that the best time to visit Tokyo Disneyland

Exploring Tsukuba Mountain

Today the weather is good, very warm, so I decide to take a train over to Ibaraki Prefecture, to a little place called Tsukuba. At Tsukuba Station, I take a ¥720 bus that crawls for thirty minutes toward Tsukuba Mountain. Eventually I get off the bus.

Japanese Saké Brewery

Today I meet with Naoto, the English speaking organiser of a saké tour. I am the only person to sign up. Not wanting to waste his whole day, I ask whether we should still go on the tour. It turns out Naoto is still quite eager to