My visit to Miyagi Prefecture last weekend coincided with koyo season – the changing of the leaves. Driving through the winding roads of Akiu Onsen, an area famous for its hot springs, we eventually found ourselves at Akiu Great Falls. This 55-metre high waterfall is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty, and really did look like something from a fairytale. Reflections from Tohoku, Japan Moments in Miyagi / 宮城でのひと時 IKIMASHO! on Facebook
Right now I am back in Tokyo after spending a few sun-soaked Autumnal days in Miyagi prefecture. In recent months I have come to really appreciate and enjoy the contrast between urban city life and that of the Japanese inaka (田舎) rural countryside. Spending time with my girlfriend’s family who are volunteering after the tsunami, I feel incredibly lucky to have been introduced to life in Tohoku, absorbing everything around me. Above all, the last few days have reaffirmed my belief that […]
I’m writing this from a small cafe in Ikebukuro that I have come to like. The rain is pattering against the window, and while the setting right at this present moment in time is somewhat idyllic, the constant onslaught of rain over the last few weeks has been anything but. In Japan, typhoons are numbered rather than being given a personal name. Today is Typhoon Number 22 – the 22nd typhoon of the year and the second in as many weekends. […]
The three-storey gaming warehouse in Kawasaki modelled on Hong Kong’s lawless ‘city within a city’ that was demolished in 1994 after becoming synonymous with drug addiction and prostitution.
Categories: Art, Music & Culture
Last weekend was seriously one of the best weekends I have had in years. There is a fine line being a travel blogger – I obviously want to write informative posts about places, but sometimes I like the fact that this site is simply a diary for myself, and something I can look back on in years to come. And so this post isn’t really about anything, and yet it’s about everything. This is what my three-day weekend looked like […]
A few weeks back I was out at the Fukagawa Hachiman Festival in Koto-ku, east Tokyo. I wrote a bit about the insane water battle here, but before tens of thousands took to the streets I was able to watch a traditional taiko performance in somewhat calmer surroundings. I always enjoy watching Japanese drumming: it has a hypnotic effect – not only through the sound and rhythm, but also visually, the way the drums are struck. Standing there watching the taiko […]
“Gotokuji is an area of the city obsessed with all things feline and many believe its temple to be the birthplace of ‘maneki-neko’ – the cats you’ve seen with one paw held high” I have a new article out in DAZED, exploring the area of Gotokuji in West Tokyo. Gotokuji is a quiet collection of backstreets, bakeries, and flower shops with people going about their daily life. It’s not unlike hundreds of other small stations in Tokyo – apart from one […]
AKABANE / 赤羽 Last Friday I found myself out drinking in Koenji, an area not too far from Shinjuku that – like my own ‘hood of Shimokitazawa – is famous for its thrift stores and retro vibes. I go there once a year for the Awa Odori, but apart from that I honestly don’t really venture out that direction – despite it only being a short train ride from where I live. (Last year I think I visited three times in total.) […]
You might be surprised by just how much food you’ll eat when travelling that comes from a street vendor. Some of the best dishes you’ll come across are commonly consumed as street food – here are six countries where you should try it for yourself. India You’ll be hard done by trying to avoid the temptation of vendors in India that cook up the most pleasingly fragrant and rich dishes the country has to offer. Don’t hesitate to tuck into […]
Categories: Travel: Outside Japan
So rainy season (tsuyu/梅雨) has finally arrived, drowning Tokyo in a thick veil of humidity and raindrops that will last until mid-July. Yet for now, the rain has stopped: the only sound outside being the distant call of a tofu-seller wheeling his cart through the streets. As I sit here sipping on a mug of yuzu-cha/ゆず茶 (citrus tea made by mixing boiling water with marmalade) I realise that after five years of living in Japan, it is the little things […]
Peaceful tranquility at one of Tokyo’s oldest temples Even after five years, Tokyo still manages to surprise me ~ providing all sorts of new places to discover and enjoy. Last weekend Miss IKIMASHO and I took a trip out to Jindaiji Temple and its neighbouring Botanical Gardens in Chofu, a place we had never been to before. The second oldest temple in the metropolis, Jindaiji features quaint cobbled streets, leafy riverbanks and hushed surroundings. Indeed, it feels more like a small township in Kyoto rather than downtown Tokyo. Jindaiji is especially […]
Right now I’m back in Tokyo after a week in Saigon. I didn’t visit one tourist attraction while I was there, instead choosing to spend my time as I usually do, wandering the backstreets and eating local food. I quickly found out that the most interesting daily life happens deep in the concentrated network of alleyways that exist away from the main tourist centre. By zooming in on Google Maps, you can clearly see areas in Ho Chi Minh where […]
A cute cafe on the top floor of an abandoned apartment building in Saigon where they serve amazing drinks from skull pint glasses.
Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop at Terminal 2 in Narita Airport listening to a super cheesy sax solo playing over the radio. I have a few hours to kill before a flight to Ho Chi Minh, where I will be hanging out until Friday. Next week is Golden Week in Japan – a string of National holidays giving people five days off this year. Looking back over my blog from the last few months, I’m aware that I’m not posting as often […]