It’s no good, I just can’t get to sleep, no matter what I try. Must be those two cups of coffee I hd 6 hours ago. It’s been quite a productive day today. Being Thursday, I had no classes, and so decided to make the most of my time off by …doing my homework! Had […]

The dangers of studying on the train

I note that Japan Tobacco, one of the world’s largest producers of lung cancer, has a new tag line, proudly displayed on all its ads. “The Delight Factory” Well, I suppose if one is the type that enjoys playing host to malignant tumours, then it’s quite appropriate. When travelling to uni, a journey of some […]

The Japanese Language Learning Curve

“Last year was a holiday compared to this!” I’ve been saying that for 2 years now. Firstly, when in my 1st year at Sheffield, looking back on my Access Course at Bristol. Then, when in my 2nd year at Sheffield, thinking back on my 1st year at Sheffield. I shall now continue the trend. “The […]

Things take shape

With great freedom comes great responsibility. The freedom I speak of is that that sees me taking only 6 hours of language classes a week. This is compared to the 4.5 – 6 hours a day that my Sheffield classmates are taking in other universities around Japan. If I’m not to fall hopelessly behind I […]

Cosplay Convention

Jon and I were also “fortunate” enough yesterday to find ourselves walking into a national Cosplay Convention. Ok, so I’ve seen plenty of elegant gothic lolitas on the streets (they are starting to rival salary men in terms of numbers), but I have never before seen so many people attempting to escape reality by pretending […]

Thunder Dolphin

Wow. That rollercoaster has to be the best in the whole world. At least the best in the world that I’ve been on. Absolutely incredible. Not only is it incredible high, incredibly fast, and incredibly thrilling, it is also in an incredible location, standing as it does in the very heart of Tokyo. The view […]

How many days can a loaf of bread last?

I find it worrying how long my loaf of bread has survived without going mouldy in this hot and humid room. I don’t like to think what they’ve put in it to prevent the growth of greenery. I have no such worries when it comes to jam however – happily, that developed a huge great […]

A Year in Japan Goes Live

Episode one now available for download at Go for the Advanced version if possible – it contains photos and links, and is actually smaller in file size than the basic .MP3 version! N.b. Broadband a must! tags: ayij | podcast | Japan | Daily Mumble

On the streets of Ikebukuro

Last nights finds on the streets of Ikebukuro included: A man with a duck fetish (I tweaked his nipple as a thank you for letting me take his photo, as which point he let out a rather surprised Quack) A HUGE Preying Mantis A silent life-size teddy bear A man who had great faith in […]

First proper day at uni

So, yesterday was indeed my First Proper Day at Uni. I only had one class, Japanese language, and that was a pretty positive experience. There’s nine of us in the class, all but one of whom I’d already met. Sensei is lovely, very clear Japanese, very kind, GSOH, and pretty cute too, which helps of […]

I think mine’s the one at the back

It has to be said, the ability of my fellow inmates to park bicycles in even a semi-organised manner leaves more than a little to be desired. In wedding-chapel news: Everyday on my way to uni I pass by this Western-style wedding chapel (they’re all the rage, despite the fact that only something like 1% […]

Foreigners: Negotiable

*Twinkle* returned from way out west today. Good job I was able to leave uni early, otherwise we would have never had time for our Kyukei (which thankfully didn’t cost 3000yen) (although admittedly there’s no TV screen set into the wall of the shower room here). Got my timetable more-or-less sorted today. My core (Japanese […]

In bed with Natsuko

It’s been a week now since *Twinkle* ventured off to Kansai, 3 hours west of Tokyo. Last night I could stand the lonliness and isolation no more, and finally succumbed to the randy Natusuko who has been desperately trying to seduce me these past few days, by wearing no clothes and making it blatantly obvious […]


Wow. When it rains, it really rains. There’s a typhoon swinging in from the south west, and although the centre of it won’t actually come anywhere near Tokyo, it seems that we can’t escape its outer reaches. The damage in Okinawa and Kyushu has been pretty horrendous, the video footage shows all sorts of damage […]

Is it all in my head?

Some days, like today, I wake up and find that my confidence left me in the night, carried off by that huge crow who I met on the clifftop near Castle Urgh. I don’t want to leave my room, but I don’t want to stay here. I’m afraid of today, I’m afraid of tomorrow. Not […]

And all hell breaks loose

Imagine yourself walking along a quiet track deep in the heart of the English countryside, miles from the nearst human dwelling, and a world away from any roads or rails. You see a corner in the green lane up ahead of you… and turning, find yourself plucked from the peaceful landscape, and hurled into the […]

I can’t get no, satisfaction

As has been well documented on TGW, when it comes to the bedroom, Japan is a poor performer, appearing at the bottom of the global sex table. One enterprising company has taken it upon itself to provide the population with a convenient alternative to the somewhat time-consuming and paper-wall reverberating real thing. Here it is […]


This week I am going to attempt to live on 4000 yen (£20). This isn’t through choice however – the £1000 I wired to my Japanese bank has yet to materialise, and £20 is all I have left of what I brought with me. My scholarship doesn’t come through for another 4 weeks. I have […]

13,000 bodies, sweating it out together

I was woken this morning at 4am, by what at first I thought to be a Very Large Bomb going off somewhere in Nishi Tokyo. The boom was just incredible, shaking my residence, The Cell, with its sonic waves. The shock of it dragged me from the depths of sleep (where I’d been complaining to […]


Just when you thought you’d got over the jetlag, you find yourself waking up at 4.30am, and realising that the reason you slept so late the previous day was not because you’d finally adjusted, but rather because you were so drunk that had you woken up early you would have been at risk of running […]

Includes Free Dog Cleaner

I bought a mobile phone yesterday. Naturally, it came with a free Dog Cleaner. Now all I need is a dog. Upon unpacking my collection of goodies from the 100yen shop this afternoon, I discovered that the bin I had purchased was no ordainary bin. No, it is in fact a WITTY TRASH CAN, no […]

Notice to all residents

One wonders what exactly took place at some point in the history of this guesthouse that resulted in the displaying of the numerous notices which read “When you befoul toilet or bathroom, make sure you clean it up yourself“ tags: guesthouse | Tokyo | Daily Mumble

Welcome to The Cell

As gaijin cells go, it’s not actually that bad. I can stand with my back to one wall, stretch my arms out in front of me, and not actually be able to touch the opposite wall. The view out of the window is pretty impressive too – there’s a whole 3 metres between this buiding […]

Live blog from 10,000 feet

Broadcasting live from 30,000 feet, somewhere over Western Russia Hello hello. And it all started so well! Got up in plenty of time, final bit of packing and weighing of luggage on the bathroom scales (2kg under our combined limit of 60kg), into the car with ma and pa, straight through all the green lights […]