A taste of Japan

A group of schoolchildren walking down a road surrounded by mountains covered in trees © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 8 — 5 August 2010 You may remember from yesterday’s post that I went to bed not feeling overly well. Unwilling to let that daunt our ambitions of heading to the beach we rose early (ish) and headed for … Continue reading

Fear and loathing in Toyooka

Traditional Japanese house with stone wall and pine trees in the background © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 7 — 4 August 2010 Another Japanese breakfast. The tea was (once again) fantastic, but at this point I’d pretty much had my fill of even the things that I’d almost gotten used to. Maybe I’m remembering it particularly … Continue reading

Fish and fire in Iwakuni

Three men on a boat with a burning basket hanging off the front and a number of cormorants on leashes fishing for ayu © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 6 — 3 August 2010 I think it must take a lifetime to get used to Japanese style breakfasts. The squid sashimi and grilled mackerel I can cope with, the rice and miso soup: fine. But the endless egg, … Continue reading

The Big Red

Man and a child walking through shallow water towards an enormous Japanese torii gate submerged in the water © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 5 — 2 August 2010 Our fifth day in Japan saw us journey west from Hiroshima in order to catch a ferry to the fascinating island of Itsukushima (厳島) — more popularly known as Miyajima. This was to be our … Continue reading


A photo of a woman sitting on the banks of a river looking at the ruined A-bomb dome in Hiroshima © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 4 — 1 August 2010 It seems everyone who visits Japan raves on about how great the trains are — and they’re well within their rights to. The Shinkansen (bullet train) network in Japan is a truly amazing feat … Continue reading

The waterlily forest of Ueno

A sea of waterlilies rising out of Shinobazu Pond in Ueno, Tokyo, at night © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 3 — 31 July 2010 After our mammoth bender the night before and given the short days (one thing that really surprised me was how early it gets dark during the Japanese summer), we only really saw about four … Continue reading

Chicken sashimi and shōchū

Yakitori chef preparing food in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 2 — 30 July 2010 For most of our second day in Japan, we left the sleepy comforts of Ueno to explore the more central districts of Shibuya, Daikanyama, Aoyama, Harajuku and probably several more micro-districts whose names I … Continue reading

Tea on Shinobazu Pond

A bowl of bright green Matcha tea and a pink bean cake served on a wooden tray in a traditional tea-house in Ueno, Tokyo © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

Day 1 — 29 July 2010 While our trip had been carefully planned/luckily scheduled to just miss Japan’s rainy season (which in the Kanto region of Japan — of which Tokyo is a part — ends around the 20th July) … Continue reading

The Big Idea

Photograph taken from above of maple trees underneath Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

On 28 July 2010, my girlfriend and I flew to Tokyo Narita airport in order to spend 28 days ambling around Japan during a ludicrously hot and humid summer. I’d been planning the trip for as long as I can … Continue reading