Strawberry-picking in Itoshima

Strawberry-picking in Itoshima


Japanese cities are pretty cool but sometimes you just have to get out into the country! Our second day trip from Fukuoka was a tour around Itoshima, a town on the western edge of Fukuoka Prefecture. This was one of my first times taking a planned tour in Japan and, while I generally like planning it all myself … Continue reading

Day out in Dazaifu

Day out in Dazaifu


I recently blogged about our short stay in the fantastic city of Fukuoka, which also happens to be a great place to stay if you’re taking a few day trips around Kyushu. The small city of Dazaifu is just a short train ride from the city centre – and because this is Japan, the train is … Continue reading

Interview with Japanese pianist Ayako Fujiki!

Interview with Japanese pianist Ayako Fujiki!


A lot of bloggers or writers will have a certain kind of music on in the background while they work to inspire them. I personally find piano the music the best kind of writing music, so I was interested to learn that Japanese pianist Ayako Fujiki will shortly be releasing her first album – ‘brightwater’ – in the UK. … Continue reading

Anime review: Hakkenden

Anime review: Hakkenden


I’ve long been a fan of fantasy stories in general, so fantasy anime is understandably one of my favourite genres. That said, there’s both good and bad series around and, after you’ve watched a certain amount, you feel like you’ve seen it all. I was therefore pleased that MVM Entertainment’s latest release, Hakkenden: Eight Dogs … Continue reading

Book review: Stormdancer

Book review: Stormdancer


I could probably just write the words “Japan, fantasy, steampunk” and be done with this book review, because that would be enough to make a lot of you reading this blog to go and pick up Stormdancer. Then again, this book deserves more than three words for its review. Stormdancer, by Australian author Jay Kristoff, is set … Continue reading

Fun in Fukuoka!

Fun in Fukuoka!


Fukuoka and Kyushu may not be places that western tourists generally visit in Japan, unless they’ve been to the country more than once or have a particular reason to visit. In our case, Fukuoka, the largest city in the southern island of Kyushu, was where my sister Grace had been spending several months studying and teaching. … Continue reading

Dolls: Takeshi Kitano film review

Dolls: Takeshi Kitano film review


Dolls (2002) is the third of several films – by the acclaimed Japanese director Takeshi Kitano – being released by Third Window Films this year. I reviewed the other Kitano films released by Third Window Films so far – Hana-bi and Kikujiro earlier this year – so feel I have some idea (albeit not expert) … Continue reading

Get in the damn Shinkansen!

Get in the damn Shinkansen!


One of Japan’s most iconic anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion, celebrated in 20th anniversary in 2015. Naturally, Japan had something pretty ace planned – a Neon Genesis Evangelion Shinkansen (bullet train)! Why? The Sanyou Shinkansen was also celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. Not that we need much of an excuse. Until March 2017, the 500 … Continue reading

England’s secret wasabi farms

England’s secret wasabi farms


A while ago I came across a documentary on BBC Four called “Chef vs Science”, which explored the science behind food and how we taste it – and explored whether pure science could create perfect taste. Part of the programme saw the presenter go to Europe’s only wasabi farm (in a secret location!) It probably won’t … Continue reading