In the Japanese language `kaizoku` is the word for pirate but if you ask a Japanese what their image of kaizoku is, they will give an image of a European pirate, or Captain Jack Sparrow, hahaha. In Japan, Murakami pirates, who ruled the Japanese inland sea region in the 16th century are a different breed… Read More Japanese Pirates in the Late Medieval and Early Modern East Asia.
A few years ago my wife and I went to Kokura for the day. It`s a big industrial city now and actually it has been since the industrial revolution back in the Meiji Period. Before that, it was a beautiful castle town right at the tip of northern Kyushu overlooking the very important Kanmon Straits.… Read More Kokura Castle, Kitakyushu, Kyushu
Firstly, I would like to say hello to the people who have recently followed me. I really appreciate your support and I hope you can learn many things about Japan from my blog. Before the coronavirus took hold my family and I went to Tokyo to visit family for a few days. We had an… Read More Toyota Automobile Museum
On a great stone monument near a flower-strewn grave in the verdant Yamaguchi countryside is a telltale description of the most radical samurai hero to hail from the most radical of samurai domains: “Once he got moving, he was like a bolt of lightening. Once he got started, he was like the wind and the… Read More Takasugi Shinsaku – Choshu Han revolutionary and swordsman
I can’t believe that February has gone by so quickly. I’ve been busy preparing for the opening of my new business. My wife and I are going to open a hairdressers and cafe together here in Fukuoka. We are so excited and can’t wait to open which should be at the beginning of May. Anyway,… Read More Yanagawa – City of Canals, Fukuoka
I recently visited Yamaguchi Prefecture and found out that the first Christmas ever celebrated in Japan was right there. During the Christmas holidays I watched the movie ‘Silence’ so I decided to dig a little deeper. Searching for more information I came across this article. It’s well written, thus I would like to share it… Read More First Christmas in Japan, 1552
The end of this semester is nearly here. I have no lessons today but I still have to be here at school for the closing ceremony. So I have a few hours to spare. One of my friends came to Fukuoka recently and we went to Dazaifu and Onojo together.. I’d like to share with… Read More Ancient Dazaifu, Fukuoka
The DR30 Skyline is one of the most iconic cars in the 1980s. This restored DR30 looks like it just came out of the factory, but even better as it has modern technology keeping it alive. Brake calipers have been thoroughly overhauled at the restore. The DR30 has been out of production for 30… Read More Nissan DR30 Skyline RS-Turbo
Iwaya castle ruins sits within Onojo fortress ruins. Onojo fortress dates back to the 7th century making it probably the oldest fortification in Japan. Iwaya castle dates back to the 16th century. Finding information about Iwaya castle has been virtually impossible. I searched both Japanese and English. However, I must say on thing that really… Read More Iwaya castle ruins-Shimazu and Toyotomi samurai battles. Fukuoka, Kyushu.
I live only 15 minutes by car away from Onojo. The mountain , Mt Shioji is easily seen from where I live as it dominates the eastern side of Fukuoka city. I have visited Onojo ruins twice now. The first time was an unscheduled visit for just a short time and the second time a… Read More Ono castle (Onojo) ruins, Fukuoka.
This is one of my favourite temple regions and it is a World Heritage Site to boot. You will need a least a whole day to explore the three temple complexes properly. You will also need to have a basic level of fitness as the site is on top of Mt Hiei and there are… Read More Enryakuji temple – Kyoto (Pictorial)
Pictorial of my pit walk from the Super GT race in Autopolis 2019. Captions added. Photos by Stuart
A little while ago when I lived in Mihara in Hiroshima I had the opportunity to see a beautiful sunset. Living in Mihara wasn’t the best of times for me but luckily I had some friends who showed me around the area and cheered me up. One day we went to Onomichi and walked around… Read More Seto Inland Sea Sunset, Onomichi, Hiroshima – Pictorial
Last May a friend of mine (Audrey) from Australia came to Fukuoka and we had a chance to meet up for dinner. It was great to speak to another Aussie again. She has her own blog which I’d like to introduce here. During her time in Fukuoka she did some research into ‘shotengai’ and ‘yatai’. … Read More Shotengai in Japan: Nostalgic, Atmospheric Streets Crammed with Cheap, Delicious Eats
Despite Fukuoka castle being one of the all time great castles of Japan (I’m a bit biased as I live in Fukuoka) there is not a whole lot of research material in English about it. Wikipedia has quite a nice write-up, but as we don’t know who the author is, it is not usually used… Read More History of Fukuoka Castle
If you’re a fan of Japanese history as I am I strongly suggest you visit the National Museum in Sakura City, Chiba. You should also allow yourself the whole day to explore this great museum. There is a restaurant for you to re-fill and gift shop with many nice souvenirs. There are 6 different galleries. … Read More National Museum of Japanese History.
Thankyou to the new people who have followed me. I hope you can enjoy Japan as much as I do. Every spring the little town of Arita is host to one of the biggest ceramics festivals in Japan. But Arita is not about pottery, the surrounding town and environment is stunning, so let’s dive in.… Read More Arita/Imari Pottery, Saga, Kyushu
Spring is here and it’s car show season in Japan. I haven’t done this before but I’m going to showcase some great classic Japanese cars on my blog. Many of you know I love cars and have taken part in car racing for a while. So I want to also include this into my blog… Read More Fukuoka Classic Car Show. April 2019
I have a new article on Taiken Japan. https://taiken.co/single/hakata-ori-experiencing-the-traditional-weaving-of-fukuoka/ This is about the famous silk weaving traditionally from Hakata. Enjoy.
Last summer I went to Beppu for a few days. Unfortunately as the trip drew closer Kyushu was hit by a bloody typhoon. The typhoon passed but we were still on the back end of the weather so it rained for most of the time 😦 Anyway here are some photos of the 2 day… Read More Welcome to hell! Beppu Jikoku, Oita.