Sakura Cherry Tree Planting in Cardiff

Yesterday I attended two cherry tree (sakura) planting ceremonies in Cardiff. The UK and Japan have a strong relationship, developed over more than 150 years. At the heart of the relationship is a desire for mutual understanding and to learn from each other’s way of life, culture and history. By planting thousands of sakura trees…

Favourite Photos: 500 series Passing

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. As this is my 500th post, I thought it most appropriate to choose a favourite picture of the 500 series shinkansen. It may not be technically the best picture ever due to the level of…

Favourite Photos: Koshien

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken during my first visit to Koshien baseball stadium in 2016. For anyone who knows about Japanese baseball, you will know how significant the Koshien baseball stadium is. You will also know…

Letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London

Today, in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), I jointly sent the following letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London. The letter can also be found on the BAJS website. I would like to thank colleagues in BAJS and also the British Association for Teachers of Japanese for coming…

N700 Shinkansen Model – Owning a part of an actual shinkansen

Through the nature of my work, I have been involved in a variety of media and translation projects over the years. One that I did recently was for the company Icarus which makes models and other products out of the actual thing that they are modelling. You can find out more information about the company…

Favourite Photos: Oyodo River at Sunset

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken during a trip to Japan in 2013. It is a view of the Oyodo River (王淀川) in Miyazaki (宮崎). The picture is one of a series of pictures that I took…

Favourite Places in Japan: Kagoshima

Continuing with my posts about my favourite places in Japan, I’m writing about Kagoshima (鹿児島). I have been to Kagoshima many times, having first gone there in 1992 when I travelled around much of Japan (including all of the four main islands) on JR Passes. When I first went I didn’t like Kagoshima much, but…

Favourite Photos: Snowy Yuzawa

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken during a trip to Japan in 2013 in Yuzawa. I picked this photo today since Japan has been having some heavy snow again in recent days – but the picture below…

Favourite Photos: Jonanjima from the air

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken during a trip to Japan in 2015 – or, to be more precise, on my way back from that trip as it was taken from plane seat soon after it left…

Hakuho’s Retirement: The Best Ever?

Recently Yokozuna Hakuho retired from sumo. The record books will tell us that he is probably the greatest ever. The introduction on Wikipedia provides the key points: Hakuhō Shō (Japanese: 白鵬 翔, born 11 March 1985 as Mönkhbatyn Davaajargal is a retired professional sumo wrestler (rikishi) from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Making his debut in March 2001,…