Photo: Downtown Osaka

6th October 2015

Dotonbori (道頓堀) is one of the main tourist destinations in Japan’s second city. The bright lights and lavishly decorated storefronts are not unique to Osaka, but the riverside setting and great atmosphere make it a must-see on any visit to the area.        

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Feature: Takayama Koi

20th August 2015

  The picturesque city of Takayama is located in the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. At around 5-hours from Tokyo and 3.5-hours from Kyoto by train, Takayama is a great place to visit if you fancy a break from the big cities. Taking the Shinkansen from either Tokyo or Kyoto will require a change of train at Nagoya. If you plan your trip correctly, the second half of your journey will be…

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Japan, December 25th 2014

25th December 2014

After the cancellation of our original flight, I tweeted Virgin Atlantic and jokingly asked if they would change our return flight for free – waving the £100 admin fee. To my surprise, they phoned me immediately and did everything they could to help. We were due to return on Christmas Eve, but with their help, we rearranged our departure date to Boxing Day. This meant that we could spend Christmas…

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Japan, December 21st 2014

21st December 2014

Whilst incapacitated yesterday, the thought of a day walking around town was a distant dream as I drifted in and out of opiate induced unconsciousness. However, despite the pain this morning, I soldiered on like a little hero as we headed off to the station. Our destination was Ginza, a handful of stops on our metro line and within a reasonable taxi ride if I should be rendered disabled again….

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Japan, December 15th 2014

15th December 2014

Returning to Heathrow for a second day, it was looking like there were more issues when after 30 minutes, they still hadn’t given us a gate to depart from. By now, even the Japanese passengers were beginning to show signs of frustration. Once Gate 13 (you couldn’t make it up) was shown, everybody breathed a small sigh of relief. The mood was further lifted by the apparent confidence of the…

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Japan, December 2014: Day One (again, kinda)

14th December 2014

With the months of buildup leading to our final day in the country, and with only an evening at work between us and Tokyo, the news, “Air Traffic Control Chaos” wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned this night beginning. “Flights cancelled”, “Aircraft grounded”, “Planes diverted”… I was feeling pretty helpless reading the drama ensuing at Heathrow as I walked to work. With Em at home checking our flight status, it appeared…

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Hyper Japan 2014, Earl’s Court

25th July 2014

Thanks to Inside Japan Tours, we won some VIP tickets to the Hyper Japan show at Earl’s Court in London. It’s a great show if you’re a fan of all things Japan or if you are planning to visit Japan… and when you’ve decided that visiting Japan is the only thing that will make you happy, speak to Inside Japan Tours to get the most out of your visit. This…

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Japan, June 2014: Home

14th June 2014

I thought I should provide some conclusion now we’ve arrived back in the UK. Absolutely knackered and in need of another holiday, hopefully we’ve showed that Japan is way more than just Tokyo and Kyoto; and maybe inspired people to venture out of the usual tourist spots. We basically spent the last couple of days shopping and filling our suitcases with toys. Accepting that we’ll be returning next year, we…

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Japan, June 2014: Day Twenty Seven

10th June 2014

With all the major Tokyo guidebook-filling landmarks still to see in our last few days, we jumped on the subway and headed as far away from the city centre as we could by metro. After visiting Universal Studios in Osaka, we couldn’t leave Japan without also visiting Disneyland Tokyo. Still suffering with a bit of vertigo exacerbated by last nights cruise, a theme park seemed like a good way to…

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Japan, June 2014: Day Twenty Six

9th June 2014

With the rainy season in full swing and sporting new umbrellas, we headed out for our first proper shopping trip of this holiday. Our destination, Akihabara, is synonymous with electronic goods and crazy toys – so this was going to be a long day. Akihabara station has two main exits; one to Electric Town (the hub of the techy stores) and the other to Yodobashi Camera’s flagship store… which is…

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