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48groups pilgrimage January 19, 2014

Posted by ayasawada in Japan, Music, Travel.
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On my most recent Japan trip I visited Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Seeing as that’s three out of the four 48 Groups locations, I couldn’t very well do that and not stop by hallowed ground, right? Here follows impressions and directions to sating your AKB/SKE/NMB thirst while on the move in Japan. (more…)

Japan 2011 – the otaku’s tale July 4, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Culture, Japan, Manga, Travel.
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Atom statue

No trip to Japan is complete without a bit of fanboying. I’ve written about the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum and Tetsujin 28 statue already (the Tezuka museum was probably the otaku highlight of my trip).

This post is largely mopping up a few random observations and running through this trip’s haul of merchandise. (more…)

Japan trip 2011 July 3, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Japan, Travel.
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Kirishima-jingu torii

A few weeks ago I returned from my fourth trip to Japan. As usual, the time passed quickly and joyfully with just over two weeks passing by in a flash. In some ways, it was the usual whirlwind of a trip, but in many other ways, it was a different change of pace.

(I’ll drop in a few pics throughout the post, but as always there’s a rather extensive set on my Flickr. And just to warn you, this is a long post).

What do I remember from this trip to Japan? As usual it’s a hazy, jet-lagged mix of convenience stores, vending machines, shop assistants shouting “Irashaimaseeeeeee!!”, new friends, old friends, good food, PET-bottled drinks, 100 yen coins and being tired and excited all day every day. It’s the greatest experience of my life (again) and only reinforces how this is, without a doubt, my favourite place on earth.  (more…)

も一度日本にくる May 3, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Japan, Personal, Travel.
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Where I'm going, sort of, only without the forest princess, and the wolves, and the weird spirits. Ahem.

Its been almost two years since I last had a proper holiday. So having finally got some time and money, where else would I go but to the motherland. The fact that it’s also the last place I went on holiday is besides the point….

This time the itinerary is a little different. My original intention was to go north to Hokkaido, but recent events upended that plan. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know the recovery effort for the earthquake and tsunami is ongoing, with aftershocks still being felt.

(I’d like to point out, I’m not in the least bit worried about the Fukushima nuclear situation. Yes, the plant is still in danger, but there really is no danger from radiation unless you’re planning to go right to the area directly around the plant (and even then I believe they still have a 30km exclusion zone in place). It’s a conversation for another time, but the danger really has been exaggerated, or at least misunderstood. It’s largely the result of our human tendency to be alarmist and the difficulty in communicating jargon terms to the public. As someone who works with scientists and science reporters, I’m not in the least worried about visiting Japan.)  (more…)

Japan! July 6, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Japan, Travel.
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Kyoto Gion Matsuri

Kyoto Gion Matsuri

I’ve fallen rather behind on my posts the last few weeks (got a stack of Japanese films I’ve seen to write about, not to mention the end of the Spring anime season, several volumes of manga and a few new albums and singles CDs). This is largely because of — what else — real life getting in the way, particularly conferences and events for work. However, I’ve also been planning and preparing for my upcoming trip to the mother country. That’s right, ayasawada’s going to Japan 三回! (more…)