East Asia

Nikko, Japan

January 25, 2013 · 6 comments

It has been a while since I went exploring somewhere new by myself, and often on my trips between the Tohoku region (where I used to work, and where my wives parents live) and Tokyo (where I live now) I saw advertisement for Nikko. I knew it had a reputation for being beautiful and I should probably go someday. As it happens I found out about a 5 day unlimited train journey ticket that me and my wife used to get to Sendai for the equivalent of 2100 yen, each way (about $20/£15, usually its around 3500-7000yen depending on how you get there and how often you stop). Anyway this left us with 1 free day so I decided to use it to go to Nikko and discover what was so good about the place.

I’ll start with the conclusion: Nikko is now one of my favourite places in Japan. I was blown away by Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →


A Belated Happy New Year

January 8, 2013 · 1 comment

Where on earth did 2012 go? At least the Mayan’s were wrong (apparently). Although I didn’t get much travelling done it was a busy year for me. After a 7 year long gap year (really!), I finished my bachelor of science degree. I got engaged, married and emigrated to Japan, and also had 4 different jobs this year too, as well as attempting to upkeep this blog.

Japanese Dessert Lucky Bag

Japanese Dessert Lucky Bag

So we enter the 13th year of the millenium. It’s time to reflect, re-evaluate and move on with life, as we all do every year. Unfortunately I’ve broken my 3 year long new year celebration on different continents continuity this year, by returning to Asia (Japan) where I brought in the new year 2 years ago. Last year was Europe (London), so at least I’m in a different continent to last year, so that still counts, right?

This year I don’t have a major plan, but I’m going to continue learning Japanese, develop a new website which is not travel focused, and try to travel as much as possible around Japan, although I don’t think I can get to many other countries, there is so much to see in Japan I don’t think this blog’s content will suffer because of my lack of flying this year.

I’ve also got myself a phone (iPhone 5, yay!) which actually works with the internet here in Japan (they make it unbelievably difficult to use your own phone here as a foreigner), and have started using Instagram, you can follow my photos of life in Japan here on there, feel free to follow me too if you’re using the app! I spent my new year holiday with my wife’s family in Sendai and rented a car for a day to look at the tsunami aftermath, I took a few videos too so I’ll do a post on that soon, but here is a sneak peak photo anyway.

Building standing after tsunami

Tsunami Japan

Don’t worry I’m not going to make a habit of posting instagram photos on this blog, just I felt this one suited a teaser shot well.

Here’s to 2013, Kampai!

{ 1 comment }

A river is not the first thing people think off when you say Tokyo but the city like many others around the world is built around one. Like the others you can take a river cruise along it to get a completely different perspective of the city too.

I took a afternoon Sumida river tour, which included entry to the Tokyo World Trade Centre and a bus tour around a few tourist attractions in the ticket price online which seemed to be the same price as booking it on location (but you can pay with your own home currency). It’s available on Wednesday and Sundays currently.

Tokyo world trade centre

Tokyo Tower from the WTC

The tour starts with Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

{ 1 comment }

In 2010 I went to Japan on a working holiday visa which I previously wrote a guide for. It was one of my most popular posts ever. During my year in Japan I met a lady who I fell in love with, and later married. She being Japanese meant my future with this country was going to become more closer, and so I needed a more suitable visa than a one-off never to renew opportunity to work. There are 2 options in this scenario (as well as the student visa in which you need a university place in Japan for amongst other things) and they are 1. A work visa and 2. A spouse visa. The work visa required a job offer in Japan, and the spouse visa requires a spouse in Japan. So before you get any of these visa’s bear in mind the basic reason behind them!

That aside, I guess you’re looking at this page because a spouse visa is the one for you. So I’ll help guide you through this and get yours. Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →


Shirakawa was my local village for 7 months when I worked in Japan on a working holiday visa. It is in Fukushima (officially called Shirakawa-shi) and not to be confused with Shirakawa-mure which is in Gifu and is a much more beautiful place to visit! Although I lived up a mountain so trips to the town were limited to my days off work (mostly to get food supplies for the week), there are a few attractions to see while you’re there. It has a small local train stop called Shirakawa station and a major stop on the Shinkansen Tohoku line called Shin-Shirakawa, so it is easy to get too. There is usually taxies to find on both sides of this station and rental car places in case you need to get around.


Some love for Shirakawa

It’s not somewhere I’d recommend Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →