Update: Back in the UK

Update: Back in the UK

Hello, hello! It’s been a while right?! I took a little unannounced mental health break from blogging (and largely from social media) to help me adjust to the big move home and after being home for over a month, I think I'm ready to get back to it! On one of my many walks since [...]

Quite the Hoot? My Trip to Yufuin’s Owl Forest

Quite the Hoot? My Trip to Yufuin’s Owl Forest

White pythons dwelling in castles, monkey mountains and now… owls!? That trip to Beppu was certainly animal-orientated! On our way home from Beppu we stopped off in the small onsen town of Yufuin. This town is often preferred by travellers when compared to its...less...polished neighbour (but I prefer the raffishness of Beppu). For me, Yufuin [...]

Sengan-en: Where Japanese History, Nature and Sweet Potatoes Mash Together

Sengan-en: Where Japanese History, Nature and Sweet Potatoes Mash Together

A volcano, historical Japanese estate, sapphire blue ocean, UNESCO museum, a cute Starbucks…. Sengan-en has it all.  I visited this feudal estate, built in 1658 by Shimadzu Mitsuisha of the Shimadzu clan, before Ste went back to the UK. It was recommended by my awesome friend and Kagoshima connoisseur, Lydia. Her recommendations are consistently brilliant [...]

Every Studio Ghibli Fans’ Dream: A Totoro Forest!

Every Studio Ghibli Fans’ Dream: A Totoro Forest!

Why is Totoro so popular? Is it Ghibli’s magically simplistic yet detailed anime style? The elegant soundtrack drawn from "Western classical, Japanese classical, and electropop-minimalism"? Is it the mesmerising weaving of Japanese culture with humour, entertainment and reverence? Or is it our fat, fluffy Totoro himself with his big ol’ smile? Whatever the reason, Totoro [...]

Kifune Castle, Beppu

Kifune Castle, Beppu

The boisterous and bonkers Beppu called me back again and, like a sailor drawn by my siren`s watery call, I obliged. My first trip to the onsen city left me a little bit breathless, very much inspired and desperately searching for the right adjective; eventually arriving at `saturated` due to its applied polysemy. My second [...]

To Be or Not to Be, Round 2: JET Programme Recontracting Decision

To Be or Not to Be, Round 2: JET Programme Recontracting Decision

This time last year I was well into my first year on the JET Programme and coming to terms with my decision to recontract for another year. In December 2019 it was that time again to ask, was another year living in the Japanese countryside ‘to be or not to be?’ Last time I wrote [...]