Bullet train, take away the pain: Japan diary pt 1

Day One: Marunouchi, Tokyo After spending an enjoyable few hours in the non-place of Ataturk international airport, I headed on to the second, longer leg of my trip: an eleven hour flight to Tokyo’s Narita airport. The trip was uneventful: I got some sleep, some Japanese art students tried to teach me some useful words ofContinue reading “Bullet train, take away the pain: Japan diary pt 1”

Tatami Galaxy and Kyoto

There are many Kyotos. Like most cities, it unfolds infinitely in the manner of the beholder’s choosing. Some see a concrete mess, and are disappointed that the once-beautiful place ‘benevolently’ untouched by atomic bombs was instead ravaged by post-war construction. Others find beauty in the many shrines and beautiful old streets that still provide quietContinue reading “Tatami Galaxy and Kyoto”

Cycling from London to Nottingham: a personal guide

Head up through the memories of Stoke Newington and past the Jewish community in Stamford Hill. Hang an accidental right at the top of Tottenham, and make your way through Edmonton and other anonymous suburbs. It’s only when you try to leave that you realise that London stretches on close to forever.  Keep cycling, butContinue reading “Cycling from London to Nottingham: a personal guide”

North Korean Polaroids and Brutalist Bloomsbury

Last night I went to some drinks to celebrate the display of some blurry Polaroids taken in North Korea. The event attracted the kind of people who write about the mysterious totalitarian state, and also the kind of people who like free wine. I had a lovely time chatting to my colleagues in a non-workContinue reading “North Korean Polaroids and Brutalist Bloomsbury”

St Patrick in Harajuku

Irishness is still an internationally adored commodity, as long as Irishness means drinking green beer, wearing silly hats, listening to fiddley-dee music, then drinking more green beer. St Patrick’s Day came to Tokyo two days early, in the form of the “I love Ireland” celebration in Yoyogi park. It was a lovely afternoon. There wereContinue reading “St Patrick in Harajuku”

Akiba Fukurou – Tokyo owl cafe

There’s a pop-up owl cafe that is causing some controversy in London, where the idea of a temporary cocktail bar stuffed full of owls at which to gawp has struck some as cruel. An online petition on Change.org demands it not be allowed to go ahead, and the organisers have replaced the booze with smoothiesContinue reading “Akiba Fukurou – Tokyo owl cafe”