Browsed by
Month: April 2013

Wrong Way Round – Day 4

Wrong Way Round – Day 4

Niikappu Town to Erimo Town (新冠町 – えりも町) – 117km The Airstream parked outside Mitsu-ishi roadside services was hard to ignore, not least because it was being towed by a Hummer. ‘It’s so big we couldn’t get through the gate to the campsite,’ explained the owners, who had driven all the way from Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, ‘so we had to stay in the car park instead.’ The couple were taking a two-month trip around Hokkaido for the second summer…

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The roads from Sado – Day 9

The roads from Sado – Day 9

This photo was taken at 5.30am, because, quite frankly, I was a bit anxious about the whole nojuku thing and hadn’t slept very well. For that added touch of surrealism, I had managed to pitch the Snow Peak directly behind Bokushi-dohri, a shopping street constructed in the Edo style as a kind of living museum, so there was some nice architecture to look at as I cycled off into the sunrise. Stopping for my usual convenience store breakfast, I met…

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Do-Re-Mi ドレミの歌

Do-Re-Mi ドレミの歌

The other day Do-Re-Mi from The Sound Of Music was playing in the background during a TV programme about Switzerland, and Mrs M started singing along. ‘Do is the do of doughnut,’ she sang. ‘Re is the re of…’‘Hang on, hang on,’ I interrupted. ‘Did you just say “doughnut”?’‘Yes. “Do is the do of doughnut”. Why?’‘Do isn’t the do of doughnut! Do is a deer, a female deer!’‘What, you mean the English lyrics are different?’ Over the years, several people…

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Murder! / 殺人!

Murder! / 殺人!

Mrs M appeared on TV the other day, although anonymously and with her face pixillated out. This was because she was talking about a high school classmate of hers who, believe it or not, is a murder suspect, as reported in these two news items from the 16th June edition of the Ibaraki Newspaper: Wife and her acquaintance arrested – Chiropractor under investigation – Murder suspect ‘worried about violence’ After an incident in which chiropractor Takayuki Sawada (37) was stabbed…

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Koyubi 小指

Koyubi 小指

I’ve always been a sucker for any news story that involves bungling crooks, and this one from last week is a fine example of the genre: On Monday 7th May at around 5.30pm, a 59-year-old woman arrived back at her apartment complex in Nishi-ku, Sapporo, and was checking her mail just inside the main doors when a man crept up on her from behind. He snatched her handbag – which among other things contained approximately 4000 yen (about £20) in…

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Fresh air 新鮮な空気

Fresh air 新鮮な空気

In the year during which Mrs M became pregnant, we were living in a two-storey block of four apartments, one of which was being used by our landlord to store furniture, and therefore empty. Living next to us on the second floor (that’s a Japanese / American second floor, British first floor) was a middle-aged couple who had several screaming rows during the time we were living there (the walls were thin so it was hard to ignore), and whose…

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