Back in Cambridge

I’m back in Cambridge now, and I’m likely to post less frequently here for a while. For the first couple of days after I got back, I inevitably examined my country with a tourist’s eye. The diversity of people on the London underground was really striking and astonishing. In Japan nearly everyone is ethnically Japanese. […]

Island Nation off the Edge of Eurasia

Last week I flew right across the largest landmass in the world, taking what those of us who spend too much time with maps and too little with globes would consider to be a surprising shortcut across Siberia. I’ve always had an affection for the next country that I’m visiting, although I admit to being […]

Future Technology

Living in Japan isn’t quite as futuristic as you might have hoped, perhaps Europe has been catching up the last few years as the Asian tiger economies have crumbled. However there are lots of interesting innovations to spot. Rotating seats on trains. At the terminal station the train pulls in, the doors on the other […]

One Day Using Only Vending Machines

This morning on my way out of the hotel I noticed it was raining. The Japanese love umbrellas, and wouldn’t be seen dead in a waterproof coat except when hiking in the mountains. For a 500 yen coin (between two and three quid) I bought an umbrella from the, yes!, umbrella dispensor in the lobby. […]

Hitchhiking to Christ’s Grave

When I was a child there was only one thing considered more dangerous than taking sweets off strangers. It’s so ingrained in me by the ambient protection of society not to hitch hike that I have never even considered doing it. All sorts of unclarified bad things might happen. For example, people might have conversations […]

Concrete Electricity Pole

Now I can finally reveal the goal of all my travelling, the destination which I’ve been striving for all these long, last five months. In Hakodate at the end of last week Rosemary and I finally made it to this technological mecca. For you to fully understand I will first explain some background. Many people […]

Inland Sea and Hiroshima

It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East. – President Truman, announcement on Hiroshima Japan has a sea with no waves, where only narrow connections to […]

Favourite Garden and Tree

The astonishingly varied coloured carp in this photo are at Ritsurin-koen in Takamatsu. Their patterns are gorgeously speckled, and I think Frimlin would have had the Rainbow Sharklings in Creatures 3 like that if we could only have provided the engine to do it. Ritsurin-koen is my favourite of the gardens that we’ve seen. All […]

Japanese Gardens

I’m now in Kyoto, ancient capital of Japan, and complete overload of temples. Unfortunately you don’t get to see much of the insides of the temples, just darkened views of distant painted screens and laquerware. The temples with active worshippers all require advanced reservations to visit, so no insights into Zen Buddhism. Instead, just as […]

Pictures of Japan

I’ve spent the last few days touristing, and have now met up with a new travelling companion, my mum. We’re journeying round Japan together for four weeks. I’ve added a couple of pictures to the last few posts, and here are a few more. The photo to the left is of a Buddhist graveyard on […]