Star Wars: Tokyo Sky Walk

Calling all Star Wars fans! Tokyo Sky Walk is an exhibition in the top galleria of Tokyo Skytree, and it is well worth a visit. In fact, this is my top pick for a day out in Tokyo at the moment! It’s there till 11th February, 2016.

Skytree pulls out all the stops here: surrounded by the spectacular view of Tokyo, 450m in the air, you can see interesting Star Wars collectables, including a set of “Japan Originals”. You can also pose with Stormtroopers or queue up for professional photos of you with a lightsaber!

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Tadaima, Tokyo

Narita airport greeted me exactly how a best friend would after a long-haul flight: with cameras poking in my face, keen to capture the red-eye and frazzled expressions. As soon as I came out of security, there was a Japanese TV crew waiting to capture the faces of backpackers who had come to Japan to find some adventure. Not so keen to have my dazed, exhausted, and pallid face on TV, I tried my best to melt away into the background.

Another fellow passenger (who had also come from the UK) did not share this wish of avoiding them. Dressed in the style of a Harajuku girl, with three or four grey roses in her hair, blonde locks, white tights and a cream dress, she soon attracted the attention of the film crew. I watched with amusement whilst sipping my CC lemon from a vending machine in the waiting area as one of the members of crew spotted her and rallied his colleagues. The whole crew sprinted over to her in what I can only describe as a very Japanese-like fashion. In the UK people try so hard to make it onto the silver-screen of daytime TV; in Japan it really is no hard task. I made a mental note to dress in a more eye-catching costume the next time I touched down.

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‘A Recipe for an English Christmas’

At last, the Christmas season has drawn to a close and we hope that everyone who is celebrating has had an enjoyable holiday. After an enormous amount of mince pies, I finally feel satisfied. Here’s a little something poetical which I’ve written to record and celebrate the quirky spirit of the ‘English Christmas’.

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One Lovely Blog Award

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Thank you so much to Kara for this nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award! Wowee, what an honour. It’s so much fun that people the other side of the world are reading (and enjoying a little bit) Thinking Japlish! If you haven’t found Kara’s blog yet, check it out for a taste of some beautiful travel writing: From This Side of the Sun. Now I have the fun task of finding seven ‘fun facts’ about myself (had to compromise on the ‘fun’ element as this proved to be quite hard)…

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Vegan Japanese

LONDON: Naomi rates Itadaki Zen at 4/5 stars.

It seems incongruously unusual to me to think of a Japanese restaurant without the smell of fish. Naively, this connection was so engrained within me that I had not even considered Japanese vegetarian food before. However, Itadaki Zen revealed to me a whole new perspective upon Japanese cuisine. It is definitely worth the visit for their delicious vegetarian and vegan meals.

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Winter in Oxford

Hello! December is already upon us (brrrr it’s chilly) and some time has passed since our last blog post. Oxford has just finished its Michaelmas Term (a.k.a. Winter semester) and it has gone by in a blur. Eight intense weeks of essays, essays, and essays. In fact, here is a haiku inspired by the past two months:

Michaelmas Term

Wearied winter fun –
All the bits in between those
Sixteen thousand words

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‘Painapurru Old Fashioned’ and Ramen

LONDON: Naomi gives 4/5 stars to Bone Daddies Kensington.

Amidst the picturesque London scene of red buses and red brick along Kensington High Street lies a new hotspot for ramen fans, hidden in the depths of Whole Foods Market. But rather than for ramen, I personally think it should be famous for their drink names which feature excellent Japlish!

Bone Daddies Kensington opened last November, the third restaurant to add to the London-based company’s portfolio. They bring their signature hirata buns and dishes such as Curry Ramen and Tonkotsu to West London.

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How to Win Against Jet Lag

Since many of my friends will be flying to University at about this time (and because I have endless amounts of cool photos of clouds to use), I thought that it would be appropriate to scribble down some tips which I’ve discovered over the years on how to conquer that mighty monster, the fear of seasoned jet-setters and newbie first-flighters alike: jet lag. When I was younger and flew more frequently I used to be totally fine and barely suffered from this at all, popping off to school the next morning at 7.30am after my arrival. However, now that I’m older, I find it a bit harder – perhaps there is a link to age? Or it might be that I am more self-conscious about falling asleep; I find it difficult to catch some shut-eye on a plane with hundreds of other people all squished together. In any case, here are some ideas on how to make long-haul travelling easier.

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Tokyo Has Lungs

In the largest metropolis in the world, the crowds bustling around you become a blur. Shibuya lies at the heart of this vibrant city. To me, standing in the middle of Hachiko crossing, the path of about one million people per day, I feel as if I’m at home.

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