Tag Archives: tokyo

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8 Taps Beer Pub in Jimbocho

I visited 8 Taps Beer Pub in Jimbocho in September 2016

Leaving the store with my newly purchased books I was not sure what to do. I was to meet a friend in just over two hours, had to find something to do until then. I certainly could not visit more book stores, I had already blown that part of my budget. A visit to another store would surely lead to another purchase. The prices and selection here is great.

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Norway Street in Tokyo

I visited the bar Øl Tokyo and the café Fuglen Tokyo in Norway Street in Tokyo in September 2016

‘You know this street is called Norway Street, right? The locals now call this street Norway Street.’ He looked at me and smiled. I laughed. ‘What?’

He continued. ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. People call this street Norway Street now. You see. You have the bar in this end of the street, the café in the other end. And then there is the furniture store in the middle. Three Norwegian places in one street. And it has become known as Norway Street.’

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Titans Tap Room in Tokyo

I visited Titans Tap Room in Otsuka, Tokyo in September 2016

Once we were close the place was easy to find. The whole street outside the tap room was filled with people. Standing in groups. Chatting. Drinking. A small bar had been set up outside where two different beers on tap were served. Inside the selection was a lot bigger. The lines for both bars, inside and outside, were long. The bartenders very busy. I recognised a friend working behind the bar out on the street. I got in line, wanting a beer.

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Super Mario Kart in Tokyo

I drove Super Mario Kart in Tokyo in September 2016

I don’t think I ever have been more photographed in my life. Everyone we passed were waving at us, smiling. Many of them taking pictures. When we stopped at a red light parents would run out into the street with their kids, put them down next to us. Run back to take a picture, then run to get their kids. We were waving left and right, posing for pictures. Trying to keep up with traffic.

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Book Review: Breasts and Eggs

I read Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami in January 2017

Breasts and Eggs is the second novella of Japanese author Mieko Kawakami and was published in 2008. In the book we meet Natsu, a single woman living in one of Tokyo’s poorer neighbourhoods. The book begins with Mieko going to the train station to pick up her sister Makiko and her daughter Midoriko who are visiting Tokyo from Osaka. Makiko is coming to Tokyo to look into getting breast implants while Midorika has stopped talking and only communicates with the rest of the world through her notebook.

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New Year’s Day in Japan

I celebrated New Year’s Day in Japan in 2015

The throng of people started already at the Harajuku train station. Everyone on the Yamanote Line was getting off here, long lines of people were forming at the ticket barriers. As we got out of the station, into the large open area in front of Meiji Park, it was not so packed anymore. But a steady stream of people were exiting the station, everyone heading in the same direction.

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New Year’s Eve in Japan

I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Japan in 2015.

As it got nearer to the New Year, only minutes away now, everyone gathered inside. All the staff from TOWA, the soba restaurant next door, owned by the same one who owned the bar, came as well. Not like Norway at all. In Norway we all go out at midnight to watch the fireworks and wish friends and strangers happy new year. Here there were no fireworks, we all stayed inside the bar, the sake was passed around.

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Flying to Sapporo with Vanilla Air

I flew with Vanilla Air from Tokyo to Sapporo and back in December 2015

Usually when I travel around Japan I use trains. Shinkansen for longer distances and express or local trains for shorter distances. With a Japan Railpass I can ride the usually expensive Japanese trains as much as I want for a fixed price, and in Japan there is always a train leaving. Add the speed and comfort of the Shinkansen and train journeys become a great way to travel. It was first on my fourth trip to Japan that I had a domestic flight.

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Book Review: Japan Through the Looking Glass

Japan Through the Looking Glass by Alan MacFarlane

I read Japan Through the Looking Glass by Alan MacFarlane in June 2015 and October 2016

Japan Through the Looking Glass is a study of Japan. It’s culture, ideas, way of life, way of thinking. Alan MacFarlane, an anthropologist and historian, holding a professorate at King’s College in Cambridge, is the author of several anthropological and historical books and articles on England, Nepal, China and Japan. His interest in Japan began in 1990 when offered a visiting scholarship to Japan. Since then MacFarlane has visited Japan on multiple occations, and have developed friendships with several colleagues in Japan. The book, published in 2007, is a result of these trips and friendships.

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Spending the Night at Narita Airport

I spent a night at Narita Airport outside Tokyo in September, 2016

As I arrived at the airport it was just after midnight. I took the escalator up from the platform, left the train station and headed towards Terminal 2. The train had been almost empty the whole way from Keisei Ueno Station in Tokyo. The airport was almost deserted. A few other passengers were here, almost more security guards and police officers. It was still just over eight hours until my flight left, I was going to spend the night at the airport.

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