Tōdai-ji Temple Complex in Nara, Japan

It strikes me as quite peculiar that the largest wooden building in the world* – Great Buddha Hall, at the centre of the Tōdai-ji Complex in Nara, Japan – has burnt down twice. Twice. Maybe you think that would be expected, given that on a list of flammable things, wood ranks just below a factory that…

So, Just How Great Are Bullet Trains Anyway? Spoiler: Very.

Let’s play a game. Name a thing that this describes: hard, shiny, powerful, intimidating in length, takes your breath away when you ride it. Thought of something? Okay, now open the back of the book and look at the answer section. There are two acceptable answers: 1. A Japanese shinkansen train. 2. Your idea of a perfect…

Backwards are Buses in Japan

Today I’m going to talk about using buses, so if your name is Beatrice you’ve probably never used a bus so you can go away. Go away, Beatrice. If you’re not a horrible person, you’ve probably used a bus to get around every now and again, maybe even every day. You probably think that the bus…

Warning! Snow Monkeys May Cause Cuteness Overload!

When I was in Tokyo, I took five hours’ worth of trains and buses and hikes to Jigokudani Monkey Park, where I spent about three hours looking at animals, before taking five hours’ worth of hikes and buses and trains back to Tokyo. 10 hours total travel time. What was so special about that monkey…

One Night in a Capsule Hotel in Tokyo

When I went to Tokyo, Japan, I spent a night in a room that was orders of magnitude smaller than your average prison cell. It also involved me seeing more Japanese penis than I would have liked. I was not coerced into this. I chose it of my own free will. I paid $40 of my…