Monthly Archives: March 2012

Call of nature in Fukushima

“Go to the hot springs at Tsuchiyu Onsen,”  the girl at the tourist desk recommended.  Her suggestion was understandable.  One glance at me – scruffy, unshaven, smelling a bit fresh – and most human beings would have advised the same.   I was sceptical.  I only … Continue reading

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Manila: Conquering the megacity

New cities terrify me, especially ones I visit alone.  Bogeymen are waiting to get me.  The fear may come from my rabbit warren upbringing, or from a claustrophobia brought on by the lack of air and natural light.  Whichever, in my mind, dangers lurk on every street … Continue reading

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Batad: Growing rice and guzzling gatorade

On day 2 in a Manila hostel, I was sat in a chair without a plan or an idea.  Salvation arrived in the form of the bubbly Filipino owner called Benjie.  Sitting across from me, between spoonfuls of curry, he suggested I travel to see the ancient rice terraces in Batad: the`eighth wonder of the … Continue reading

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Manila: Trying to find my feet

Wearing thick socks and heavy leather shoes, I flew away from a freezing Tokyo to the Philippine capital Manila, a city similar to Tokyo in size, traumatic recent history and longitude; the latitude however – I always get those two confused – is 20 degrees different.   So was the ground temperature.  Arriving at the airport … Continue reading

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Tsugaru: The cafe women at the end of the line

Two women greeted me from behind the counter.  They had pudgy, pretty faces with stout bodies hardened by shovelling snow.

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これは最高に美味そう。超嬉しい。人生にこんないいことあると思わなかった。 なんだお前。ただの芋だよ。

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