Latest Posts & Articles

Travel In Defiance of Terrorism

Travel In Defiance of Terrorism

The date: 13th November 2015. I was already tired when I got on the plane at London Heathrow. I rarely sleep much on planes and tend to use the eleven-twelve hour flight between the UK and Japan as an opportunity to catch up on films missed at the cinema. I was already tired when I got on the plane at London Heathrow I also prefer to stay awake during the flight, getting into the destination…

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How To Choose A Japan Travel Guide Book

How To Choose A Japan Travel Guide Book

As much as the internet is a godsend to researching a trip to Japan, for many people, myself included, there’s still nothing quite like having a trusty, print guide book in your hands when travelling. How do you choose the best travel guide to Japan? Selecting the best guide for you is a little like choosing your ideal partner, or your favourite album of all time — it’s a very personal thing. So, in that…

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Exploring The World’s Longest Suspension Bridge — Akashi Kaikyo

Exploring The World’s Longest Suspension Bridge — Akashi Kaikyo

Most people won’t have heard of the small island of Awaji. It can be found in the Inland Sea, just between the main island of Honshu and Shikoku — the smallest, least populous, and least visited of Japan’s four main islands. Connecting Awaji to the mainland of Honshu is the Akashi Kaiyko Bridge — the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. Opened in 1998, at 1,991 metres (6,532 ft; 1.237 mi), its central span dwarfs…

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The Real Japan YouTube Channel Launched!

The Real Japan YouTube Channel Launched!

Yep. You did read that correctly. We have just launched the official The Real Japan YouTube Channel! :-D I cannot tell you how excited I am about this news — but I’ll try to keep the exclamation marks under control — but it is difficult! (oops) To celebrate the launch we’ve made a trailer for the channel that includes footage I’ve shot from numerous places tucked away around the land of the rising sun. Just…

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Meeting an Itako — Spiritual Medium

Meeting an Itako — Spiritual Medium

“Itako — also known as ichiko (市子) or ogamisama (男神様), are blind women who train to become spiritual mediums in Japan. Training involves severe ascetic practices, after which the woman is said to be able to communicate with Japanese Shinto spirits, kami (gods), and the spirits of the dead. Itako perform rituals tied to communication with the dead and divination. The practice has been on the decline, with only 20 living itako in Japan,…

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LINE Friends Stores Are Awesome!

LINE Friends Stores Are Awesome!

I’m a big fan of mobile messenger app LINE. Partly because it has an excellent user interface and means I can make free international voice or video calls to other LINE users over the internet. And partly because its range of characters is just so damn kawaii (cute)! :-D I prefer LINE to Facebook Messenger as it is far less intrusive in the personal data it requires to function. If you’re not already familiar with…

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Interview With Love Japan Magazine

Interview With Love Japan Magazine

Love Japan Magazine is a beautiful print publication, with accompanying website and blog, so I’m rather chuffed to have been interviewed by them discussing some of my many adventures in The Real Japan. You can read the full interview online HERE. Love Japan was created by fans, for fans of Japanese culture. Put together by a small creative team from London in the UK, all of whom have travelled around Japan, they offer a fusion…

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Review: Cafe Keshipearl, Kobe

Review: Cafe Keshipearl, Kobe

Not far from the business district in the harbour city Kobe, and 5 minutes or so walk from Sannomiya JR station, unassumingly tucked away on a first floor you can find Cafe Keshipearl. We discovered it just as they were celebrating their 5th Anniversary of opening. The understated signage at street level was stylishly attractive. When I first walked in I loved the look of the place. The interior design was minimal but certainly designed,…

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