Films

Visiting A Shinto Shrine, The Real Japan, Rob Dyer

Visiting A Shinto Shrine on New Year’s Eve

Visiting A Shinto Shrine on New Year’s Eve Hatsumōde (初詣) is the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year (starting on 1st January). Although most people visit on the first, second, or third day of the year (as most are off work on those days), typically, we visit our local shrine a couple of minutes after midnight – just as the new year is starting on the 1st of January. Prayers are made…

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Osaka Station City plazas The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Exploring Osaka Station City: Plazas

Exploring Osaka Station City: Plazas This is the first in a series of film-based articles about Osaka Station City. It focuses on the plazas within the complex. Osaka Station City is a vast shopping and transportation complex. It’s bookended by the towering North Gate and South Gate Buildings, and with Osaka Station at its heart. This sprawling development connects multiple rail and subway lines with a bus terminal and incorporates Umeda Station, and is justifiably…

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The Ainu – Japan’s Forgotten People

The Ainu – Japan’s Forgotten People

The Ainu – Japan’s Forgotten People Honshu (northern Japan) and the island of Hokkaido. It’s here the Ainu, Japan’s little-known indigenous people live. They’ve lived here for tens of thousands of years. The second time I went to Japan (in 2001) was when I first I went to Hokkaido. I loved it. Hokkaido is Japan’s northern-most island, not far from Siberia in Russia. Before recorded history, Hokkaido was settled by the Ainu – Japan’s forgotten…

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Tōkaidō Shinkansen Travelling Through Nagoya Station

Tōkaidō Shinkansen Travelling Through Nagoya Station

  Tōkaidō Shinkansen Travelling Through Nagoya Station, Aichi Prefecture Japan’s fourth-largest city, Nagoya is a modern metropolis with Nagoya Station – the world’s largest train station (by floor area) – at its heart. The Tōkaidō shinkansen train line runs between Tokyo and Osaka, taking it’s name from the Eastern Sea region it is in and referring to the historical road running throughout its length.   It was the first of the so-called ‘bullet trains’ to…

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Bus Ride Through the Mountains of Miyagi Prefecture

Bus Ride Through the Mountains of Miyagi Prefecture

Bus Ride Through the Mountains of Miyagi Prefecture Ride the Miyagi mountain bus like a local! It’s a sunny day in May when the bus departs from the remote Zao Fox Village, weaving its way down winding mountain roads, passing through small villages and stopping half way down so the bus driver can take a cigarette break ;-). Miyagi Prefecture is in the northern Tōhoku region, on the main Japanese island Honshu. Tōhoku has a…

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Japan Matsuri, Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Japan Matsuri, Trafalgar Square, London, UK

  Japan Matsuri, Trafalgar Square, London, UK It’s that time of the year when the leaves are turning red, even in central London. So it must be time for the UK’s premiere Japanese festival – Japan Matsuri. This annual event, now in its ninth year, provides the ideal opportunity to sample Japanese culture in its many forms. From traditional crafts and martial arts, contemporary performances, alongside music and dance, there are, of course, always plenty…

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Some Secrets For A Japan Trip

Some Secrets For A Japan Trip

Some Secrets For A Japan Trip (Just A Japanese Girl) I had planned to do a live Periscope broadcast a few days ago with Saki of the Just A Japanese Girl blog and Periscope fame. Sadly, it didn’t happen due to some technology issues. :-( Saki is a dynamo of unfettered, enthusiastic, bubbly energy. She’s positively infectious! She’s also passionate about her love of traditional Japanese culture and wearing kimono – which she frequently shares…

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Uonotana Fish Market, Akashi

Uonotana Fish Market, Akashi

  Uonotana Fish Market, Akashi – Hyogo Prefecture You may have heard of Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, but there’s another, lesser-known fish market that’s well worth a visit – and you won’t see any foreign tourists there – Uonotana. Akashi is a small port city in Hyogo Prefecture – not far from Kobe, on the way down the Seto Inland Sea coastline towards Himeji. For more than 400 years the locals have been fishing off…

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Journey From Kansai International Airport to Ashiya

Journey From Kansai International Airport to Ashiya

Journey From Kansai International Airport to Ashiya (via Limousine Bus, Train and Taxi!) Join us as we travel in the evening from Kansai International Airport to Ashiya. On this particular occasion we had three legs to our journey: 1.) LIMOUSINE BUS – from outside Kansai International Airport to Nishinomiya At Kansai International Airport – look out for the security guard gliding around on his Segway. It’s so slow though, I’m not sure it’s a very…

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Senkoji Ropeway Cable Car, Onomichi City

Senkoji Ropeway Cable Car, Onomichi City

Senkoji Ropeway Cable Car, Onomichi City Onomichi City is in Hiroshima Prefecture, on the main island of Honshu, facing the Inland Sea. It’s a gateway to a series of small islands sitting in the Inland Sea of Japan. The city features in the seminal 1953 Yasujirō Ozu film Tokyo Story. Onomichi’s many temples attract spiritual tourists from across Japan, but you rarely see foreigners here. The well-informed ones often visit Mt. Senkoji via the Senkoji…

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