Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is ‘quest‘, which immediately made me think of a number of adventures I’ve had in Japan. Often, both whilst living there and during my other trips, I’ve felt like I am on some kind of quest or mission. Sometimes I’m searching for the perfect photo opportunity, sometimes I’m searching for … Continue reading

Movie Review: Kubo & The Two Strings

Movie Review: Kubo & The Two Strings

“If you must blink, do it now…” What an opening line! I was captivated from the moment the film started, and Kubo & The Two Strings is without a doubt the best animated film I’ve seen this year, and in a long time. Kubo & The Two Strings is not a Japanese film, it’s an … Continue reading

Absolutely Fabulous Japan!

Absolutely Fabulous Japan!

I don’t have much time this week to post, so here’s just a quick heads up for those of you in the UK or with access to UK TV. This week a new three-part series about Japan started, featuring Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley. I haven’t watched it yet, but the images I’ve seen from … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

It’s been ages since I took part in WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge, so I thought this week I’d give it a go. This week the theme is ‘Mirror‘, which got me thinking about reflections. In Japan there are so many good opportunities for photos of reflections – here are just a few pictures I’ve taken … Continue reading

Bachata en Fukuoka

Bachata en Fukuoka

Keeping up with a Japanese culture blog when you lead a busy life can be hard, but it seems that whatever I do, wherever I go, Japan finds me. A lot of my free time these days is taken up with Latin dancing (salsa and bachata), and a while ago my teacher pointed out that one … Continue reading

Japan-inspired street art in Bristol

Japan-inspired street art in Bristol

A few weeks ago Bristol saw another fantastic Upfest street art festival take place. Upfest is Europe’s largest free street art and graffiti festival, and the event sees artists travelling from all over the world to take part. There was lots of great artwork there, but today I’d like to highlight a few Japan-inspired pieces … Continue reading

Sweet Bean (あん) – A Movie by Naomi Kawase

Sweet Bean (あん) – A Movie by Naomi Kawase

Billed as an “ode to the simple joys in life”, Sweet Bean (あん) directed by Naomi Kawase (河瀨直美) really is just that, and it’s lovely. Sweet Bean is set in a small-town dorayaki (どら焼き) (red-bean pancake) shop run by a grumpy middle-aged man (Sentaro, played by the rather handsome Masatoshi Nagase / 永瀬 正敏) who … Continue reading

Book Review: The Bullet Train Murder by Fran Pickering

Book Review: The Bullet Train Murder by Fran Pickering

The Bullet Train Murder is the latest in Fran Pickering‘s ‘Josie Clark in Japan’ mystery series: When a body’s found on Japan’s famous bullet train it’s got nothing to do with Josie Clark. Or has it? Tokyo-based expat Londoner Josie Clark hopes her transfer to Osaka will give her career a boost, even though it means commuting weekly … Continue reading

Unexpected Stories by Umi Kumano

Unexpected Stories by Umi Kumano

Whilst I was in London recently I popped in to see my old colleagues at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and was invited in to see the latest exhibition: Unexpected Stories by Umi Kumano (熊野海). Umi Kumano is a Japanese artist from Fukui, who currently lives in Berlin as a guest student at the Berlin University of … Continue reading