Category Archives: Big Cities

A good beer and a good book

Another day goes by too quickly in Morioka. So I purposefully headed out to the Aeron Standard Diner and Bar for a local beer and maybe a conversation or two with the local patrons. Maybe I need to lower my … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Eating and drinking, Iwate, People | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No need to offer me a seat

And so here I was on the Chuo Line Rapid rumbling to Shinjuku, heading to the coin-operated laundry as directed by my Information Service friends back at Tokyo – back pack stuffed with dirty clothes. I know the last hour … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Tokyo, Trains | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on No need to offer me a seat

Surely the laundry is here somewhere

Tokyo is a big place and I assumed it would be pretty easy to find a coin-operated laundry, pop the dirty washing in, sit around for an hour, and be back out touristing before you know it. Here’s hour the … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, People, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Surely the laundry is here somewhere

JR Metropolitan Hotel Marunouchi, worth the splurge

Fair to say that 5 Stars is punching well above my usual accommodation level when getting around Japan. 3 Star business hotels are the norm. The JR Metropolitan Hotel Marunouchi (Tokyo) has such a good reputation and is close to … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Tokyo, Trains | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Yasu’s favourite izakaya is now mine. IZAKAYA たいと

I met Yasu at the Japan Council of Local Government Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) in Sydney a few years ago. With his posting over and a trip to Tokyo coming up for Veronica and I, some loose arrangements were … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Eating and drinking, People, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Finding old Tokyo in Nippori

Ueno Park is a significant draw card for visitors, for its museums, galleries, zoo, temples and quiet contemplation. Just to the north of the Ueno Park precinct is Nippori, an old part of Tokyo that has history, culture and a … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Tokyo, Walks | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Finding old Tokyo in Nippori

No regrets, but next time ….

Being a single traveler has a particular advantage in flexibility it brings. However you are always on the outside, a 2 hour drop in to a place, a single seat at the izakaya buzzing with small work groups. For all … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Disasters, Miyagi, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The cold, the old and the bold

My return to Japan in March revolved around attending the United Nations third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). Posts about that amazing event, the organisations and the people around the world putting their energies into mitigating the impacts … Continue reading

Advertisement

Posted in Accommodation, Akita, Big Cities, Miyagi, Small Towns and Villages, Tokyo, Trains, Yamagata | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The cold, the old and the bold

Wedding crashing a new visitor activity in Harujuku

Most visitor stories of Harujuku include the colourful young things assembling around the station, families taking in the relative sanctuary of Yoyogi Park, or of the bustling shopping precinct around Omotesando-dori and Meiji-dori. Photos a plenty of cosplay girls, old-time … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, People, Tokyo, Walks | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Finding that special Asakusa place again

Sometimes a dining experience sticks in your mind. The company. Getting dressed up to match. The long line of eager diners anticipating the fare, having been excited by the critic’s words. The artistically plated chef’s specialty. Just one Michelin Star, … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Eating and drinking, People, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A guide to Asakusa

Volunteer Guides are readily available to assist visitors across Japan. Whether at the most popular temples and shrines in the tourist havens of Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara – to locally important and interesting spots almost everywhere. With three new visitors … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Temples and Shrines, Tokyo, Volunteer Guide, Walks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Yaesu-dori street eating

On the way to the Ginza for a bit of window shopping, the plan was to take in the Bridgestone Museum of Art, a fantastic public legacy of its founder Ishibashi Shojiro. But lunch was first. Taking the suggested Yaesu … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Eating and drinking, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yaesu-dori street eating

Japan is not the only place ……

Sorry fans. Just to ensure I post even more irregularly here, I have finally started writing up Escaping the Nest stories about adventures in places other than Japan. Being able to travel is a privilege, and I certainly do not … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Japan is not the only place ……

Gifts and memories

Bringing back momentos and presents from Japan is something I make some effort to do. Its not just about the item itself, its craft, or its price, it is just as much about the story of its purchase. Relevance and … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Saitama, Shizuoka, Small Towns and Villages, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gifts and memories

Inside looking out from the Kaikyo Yume Tower at Shimoneseki

I know I can pack a lot into a day’s traveling. Having looped out, down and around from Hiroshima (praise to the JR Rail Pass – read about those trains here) I ended up in Shimoneseki with a little bit … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Trains, Walks, Yamaguchi | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

more whimsy

Just when you were getting used to my whimsical tales of (so far) six trips to Japan and football, I have started another blog Escaping the nest where tall tales and true are recounted of adventures in United States, France, … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

On your bike

You can get a good sense of the real Japan by gently rolling through lanes and streets on a bike. A leisurely pace, often with a tide of fellow riders. Apart from looking a little bit different, who is to … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Bike rides, Kyoto, Nagano, Nara, Shimane, Shizuoka, Small Towns and Villages, Temples and Shrines, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on On your bike

Ideas from the hostel notice board

Thursday night was dragging on. Beer cans strewn across the maps, nut packets ripped open, hostelers from many lands moving around the small lounge area and kitchen. And no plan for Saturday afternoon. With a few nights in K’s House … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Hiroshima | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A (small) room for all occasions

I glumly posted some time ago about giving up on Youth Hostel accommodation. I felt more and more uncomfortable as a single 50+ traveler, appearing as if my T-shirt slogan was “Uncle Tony the chaperone”. Small rooms, too many hip … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Shizuoka, Small Towns and Villages, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

Not human or animal. Built. The trusty, reliable and ever present business hotel is a welcome partner. Close to transport, wi-fi for planning the next day. Good breakfast. Just the go for those days traveling around Japan without partner, brother … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Shizuoka, Trains | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

Drawn in by Mt Fuji

Leave work at Lidcombe at 5.00pm, go to the airport for the 8.30pm overnight Qantas flight from Sydney to Tokyo (Narita). This is a convenient way to get to Japan. Sure it is not the cheapest way to get there, … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Chiba, Shizuoka, Volcanos | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Drawn in by Mt Fuji

Free visitor advice service

Tokyo is one of the great cities of the world with 1,001 things to see or do. Making a decisions about what how to spend your little time there will define your visit. So, here is my free visitor advice … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Big Cities, Small Towns and Villages, Temples and Shrines, Tokyo, Volunteer Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Free visitor advice service

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

First day in Japan. Found accommodation. Found beer. Found food. Sumida River, Asakusa. See more photos and comments on this theme at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/photo-challenge-lunchtime/    

Posted in Big Cities, Eating and drinking, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The middle aged man challenge: how would you spend 3 days in Tokyo?

The balding and grey haired group for the June has grown to 5, with 3 guys on their first trip. Not yet at the dizzying 2009 heights of 11. Blame the GFC. These poor souls are vesting the enjoyment of … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Football, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nagoya Grampus fans. Oh what a night!

So the trip to Japan this time around was all about this. A soccer game. Andrew, Dean, Madeline and I had come armed with Central Coast Mariners trinkets, to swap with Nagoya Grampus fans after the final whistle. Outside the … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Football, People | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Evolving travel experience

I have just completed 10 weeks of  Japanese language lessons. Even though the course was at ‘starter’ level (simpler than Introductory!) I have to say I struggled to retain too much. And the final assessment conversation? Well, lets just say … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Football, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, Shizuoka, Tokyo, Volunteer Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shitaya Matsuri in Ueno, Tokyo

53 versions of a travel itinerary just couldn’t work in this year’s Asakusa Sanja Matsuri in mid-May. While Ueno’s Shitaya Matsuri may not have the million or spectators like Asakusa, it is exuberant, colourful and highly recommended.  On previous trips … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Big Cities, Festivals, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Diner for 8 ~ Zen kushikathu dote, Nagoya

Tuesday 15th May, 2012 With just 8 seats, how can an izakaya pub-style eating place return a living for its owner? While the answer is a bit unclear to us tourist types, it starts with a cosy venue, a variety … Continue reading

Posted in Aichi, Big Cities, Eating and drinking | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The fraternity of fire fighters: Asakusa Fire Station

Saturday 12th May, 2012 I should not have been surprised that my volunteer translator was waiting in the foyer of the Toyoko Inn, Kuramae some 20 minutes before the arranged meeting time. Resplendant in a dark suit, and busily reading … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Disasters, Fire fighters, People, Tokyo, Volunteer Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bluesman of Inokashira Koen, Tokyo

Around an hour west of Tokyo is the must-see Ghibli Museum that displays the life and anime works of the great Hayao Miyazaki. Think Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. Think colour and movement. Think tiny and gigantic. The Ghibli … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, People, Tokyo, Walks | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bluesman of Inokashira Koen, Tokyo