Tag Archives: japan

12 things you wouldn’t expect to find in Japan

Five-storied red pagodas, carefully manicured gardens, geisha girls and futuristic skylines: just a few of the most popular images of Japan. During our month travelling around the country we saw all of the above. Yet Japan is a country we hear relatively little about and in the course of our travels we stumbled across plenty […]

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Miyajima – Japan’s Holy Island

Before we came to Japan I received suggestions from several people about the places we shouldn’t miss. The advice to visit Miyajima was unanimous. Reading a little further into this I discovered that Miyajima is also listed as one Japan’s three most scenic spots. I felt compelled to find out for myself what the fuss […]

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Nagasaki and the Atomic Bomb Museum

Most of us would never have heard of Nagasaki had it not been for a few rogue clouds. On the morning of August 9th 1945 an American B-29 bomber carrying a nuclear bomb with the code name “Fat Man” was circling over the city of Kokura, its intended target. A late covering of cloud had […]

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Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Museum

Growing up in the latter years of the Cold War the subjects of nuclear wars, mushroom clouds and Armageddon were never far away. We had Reagan and Thatcher talking tough to the revolving procession of aged Soviet leaders while the movies of the day depicted scenes of nuclear wars that caused genuine panic in many […]

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The Last Shogun of Japan and Paddington Bear: the story of Hakodate

It is said that we can link anyone in the world through no more than five connections. The link between the last Shogun of Japan and Paddington Bear however is considerably shorter than might be expected. These two unlikely characters are in their own way a part of the history of the city of Hakodate […]

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A photo tour of Japanese castles

Japanese castles don’t really conform to the the Europeans understanding of what a castle should be. Built at a time of relative stability, most of the castles were constructed as a show of wealth and power rather than as a fortification. The consequence of this is a series of buildings dotted around Japan that are […]

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Japan Rail Pass: a good purchase that could be a lot better

At first glance the Japan Rail Pass looked very expensive. £444 for 21 days of unlimited rail travel (up to £476 now thanks to the ever-strengthening yen). Would we really travel enough to make the investment in the rail pass pay off? We had crossed Europe from Lisbon to London earlier this year for roughly […]

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Kyoto Museum for World Peace: Japan’s past laid bare

Japan has more than its fair share of difficult museums to visit. The Hiroshima Peace Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum tell the story of the atomic bombings on their cities in their own distinct ways. Both are sensitively put together and provide political and historical context along with personal testimonies given by survivors […]

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Japan travel costs: a breakdown of our spending

Too often I read about other people’s travels and wonder about the costs involved in their trip. It’s one thing to inspire someone to visit a new country and experience its many attractions, but the information isn’t always available to tell me whether it’s something I have the money to do at a particular time. […]

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Things I won’t miss about Japan

Writing this at the end of a month long trip to Japan, it’s fair to say that this has been one of our favourite trips of all time. There is a lot to like about Japan (much of which I listed in the previous post). No trip is perfect however and it would be remiss […]

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