Apropos of nothing much, here’s a bunch of views of Taipei 101 all taken during hikes I’ve done in the 3 months since coming back to Taiwan. The weather’s generally cloudy here in spring so most of them weren’t taken …

Taipei hiking: a dozen views of Taipei 101 Read More »

I recently came back to Taipei and have been getting some hiking in before the insane heat & humidity properly kicks in (already starting to do so). Main focus has been to redo a bunch of hikes I did last …

Life in Taipei: hiking updates Read More »

Taipei was only founded in the late 1800s when Taiwan was part of the Qing Empire, and the city walls were pulled down a short time later in the early 1900s when Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire. The …

Life in Taipei: the old city wall Read More »

Note: this post isn’t about how to actually teach the English language – for that start by doing a TEFL course. This post deals with your options when applying for jobs teaching English in Japan. A friend of mine was …

Teaching English in Japan Read More »

(This is a pretty depressing post to be honest, but if you’re where I was a few years ago, weighing up whether or not to go for it as a digital nomad full time travel blogger, you need to read …

The Truth about 3.5 Years as a Struggling Digital Nomad Read More »

So recently I found myself back in a place I never wanted to visit again – heartbreak. Lovesick. Depressed and moping around, kicking myself for not making better decisions. In any life you’re going to get those ‘sliding doors’ moments; …

Sliding Doors Read More »

So one Sunday afternoon a few years ago while living in the Ikebukuro Honcho district of Tokyo my hungover ass was woken up far earlier than intended by the sound of drumming and rhythmic shouting coming along the street: A …

A Local Shrine Combat Festival in Ikebukuro Honcho (Tokyo) Read More »

When I was living in Tokyo a few years ago I sometimes used to walk half an hour from my place down to Ikebukuro if I needed to do a little shopping or whatever. On one occasion as I got …

Photos of an Ultra-Nationalist March I Witnessed in Tokyo Read More »

Koyasan is a large temple complex in the mountains of Wakayama, located not far south of Osaka. It works well as a day trip from Osaka and is a great option if you’ve already been to Kyoto and Nara and …

Koyasan Read More »

A few years ago I was living in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district while teaching English a few miles away in Shinjuku. Ikebukuro is written 池袋, and the second character bukuro happens to sound very close in pronunciation to the Japanese word …

The Owls of Ikebukuro Read More »

On my recent visit to Japan (researching my new website Rugby Guide Japan for the Rugby World Cup) I spent a day in Kyoto doing a couple of hikes so I could update the crappy photography on those pages (namely, …

Damage to Kyoto’s Hiking Trails from Typhoon Jebi Read More »

Having only just recently gained access to all the photos on the hard drive from my old broken laptop, I’m finally getting loads of old travel pics up on the blog. Here’s the view from the window of a cheap …

A Dramatic Lightning Storm Over Bangkok Read More »

It’s been a couple of years now since I launched this blog, yet I’ve been so busy catching up on writing posts from many years of earlier travel that I’ve largely failed to write posts updating where I actually am …

2018 updates Read More »

Famous last words: “Okay, last run and then I’m off to get some dumplings and catch the bus.” I was talking to my riding pal Lilly, we were stood at the top of the terrain park at Welli Hilli Park, …

Broken Bones and Silver Linings Read More »

Fucking bugs. Fucking cockroaches, fucking flies, and fucking, fucking, fucking mosquitoes; one thing you’re always going to have to put up with if you go live in the Far East is all the damn bugs. If you’re in Korea or …

Life in Taipei: Stumpy the Lizard Read More »

This isn’t a politics blog. But when I travel I like to learn about the history of the places I visit, and to at least somewhat get a handle on the political landscape. Fact is that politics & history are …

Tokyo’s Controversial Yasukuni Shrine and Yushukan Museum Read More »

Most visitors to Hokkaido fly in, but to do it overland you have two options – bullet train or ferry. If you have the JR Pass, the train’s the way to go – with the bullet train having recently been …

How to Take the Ferry to Hokkaido Read More »

The Gion Matsuri is foremost among the 3 great matsuri (festivals) of Kyoto (the others are the Aoi Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri), as well as being recognised as one of the 3 great festivals of Japan (along with Tokyo’s Kanda …

The Gion Festival Read More »

One time while living in Kyoto… “I went for a midnight stroll around Mt Inari, the red gates picked out against the snow, and with the sounds of the city muffled to nothingness, the night deathly quiet and utterly still …

An Ode to the Crows of Japan Read More »

So there I was in Nanjing Station to catch the bullet train back to Shanghai, minding my own business, and going for a quick slash before boarding the train as you do. It was one of those massive toilets in …

Bizarre Encounter at a Nanjing Station Urinal… Read More »