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

Out and about in Kobe

Out and about in Kobe


The second stop on our Japan 2016 trip was Kobe, just a thirty minute train ride from Osaka! Still slightly jet-lagged and having spent three days in the bustling Osaka crowds, we were all looking forward to what we had heard was a more “chilled out” city. We were only in Kobe for a day … Continue reading

Kawaii pops up in London!

Kawaii pops up in London!


If you’re free in London next week (Wednesday 13 July) you might want to head over to Camden’s North Yard for the UK launch of an interactive art project from the internationally-renowned Japanese artist Sebastian Masuda. The ‘Time After Time Capsule’, travelling to 10 cities around the world, is a global participatory art project where people … Continue reading

Scoliosis, blogging and me

Scoliosis, blogging and me


I’m taking a break from the usual Japan-themed blog this week to talk about a spinal condition known as scoliosis, and how in a roundabout way it got me into Japan and blogging. I hope it might be useful reading for peple with scoliosis, or their parents and friends. What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is the … Continue reading