looking back at asahikawa

when did we visit and for how long? late february for 10 days what kind of accommodations? two hotels.  we barely stayed in the first one for 30 minutes because it was so disgusting.  smoke was seeping out of everything, even the toilet paper.  we moved down the street to the washington hotel and it […]

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looking back at sapporo

i’m trying my hand at maybe my last ‘regular’ series of posts… to look back upon the cities that we’ve stayed in this trip and to compare that to our first day to see how our opinions of the city had changed.  aside from the ski resorts, sapporo was my first city… when did we […]

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Funky Foods of Asia

I was able to sample some interesting foods while in Asia, some courtesy of the ever adventurous eating sensei Frank. Here’s a list of the highlights. Raw marinated crab. The ick factor for me was not knowing how clean the crab was going to be. The water in China is not exactly known for being […]

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the many walking styles of asia

location: niseko terrain: resort town with fresh snow and high winds style: slowly, usually with our heels slipping out from under us resembles: location: rusutsu terrain: hotel lobbies and designated trails to the uploading lift style: upright resembles: location: otaru and sapporo terrain: flat & urban, fresh/packed snow, sub zero temperatures style: mostly small steps […]

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weekly update #7 – tokyo & seoul

q. current home/addy where i stayed (neighbourhood) and how long a. tokyo (airbnb in shibuya/harajuku), seoul (airbnb in itaewon) q. favourite meal a. our build-your-own-lunch at the tongin market in seoul.  for a mere 5000won (~$6 cad), you get 10 tokens and a bento box which you can fill at the numerous stands that line […]

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In Search of Pho

Didn’t realize how much pho I have until I was missing it badly after two weeks on the road. I guess I almost have it every week and it’s one of my go to cold rainy soup. I didn’t find any decent ones in China or Sapporo and had to wait until Tokyo to get […]

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Kamakura by the Sea

We made a day trip out to Kamakura on the Monday predicted to be sunny. What we didn’t know was that there was a national holiday of some sort and it’s a long weekend. So we crowded onto a packed train towards our destination du jour. Lots of foreigners on the train and the ride […]

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spicy kikanbo tsukemen

the last ramen store we tried was a break from the norm.  kikanbo’s calling card is spicy ramen and their bowls have been so popular that they opened up a second shop two doors down solely to specialize in each of the storefronts.  one shop only handles soup noodles and their original shop was converted […]

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laid back afternoon in shimokitazawa

the last area we explored in tokyo was shimokitazawa aka the hipster factory.  i suppose they’re all over the world but the concentration was definitely higher here although more in the mid to late 20 year old range.  we both really liked the vibe in shimokitazawa; very chill, friendly and genuine.  most of the stores […]

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afuri ramen, revisited

afuri ramen is another popular chain in tokyo and has been on our hit list thanks to a visit to the harajuku branch four years ago.  i’d say that their callings are: -their broth is chicken based so it’s noticeably lighter -the chasiu is grilled fresh as your bowl is prepared -their signature broths are […]

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life in japan as a gaijin

two months in japan have flown right by and i’m ashamed to say that i’ve picked up very little in the way of communicating in the native tongue.  there’s a plethora of gaijin (foreigners) in tokyo and haha and myself are added to the list of them that stand out like a sore thumb.  the […]

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ippudo ramen

ippudo was a recommendation from our tokyo sensei, pablo.  he’s the master of all things tokyo and after he gave our group a hands on tour four years ago, if he suggests to eat/walk/jump, we do it.  we were coming back from mt takao and it was close to 8pm on a sunday night.  that […]

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weekly update #6 – tokyo

q. current home/addy where i stayed (neighbourhood) and how long a. tokyo (air bnb in shibuya) for the last week q. favourite meal a. oh man… toss up.  it’s either gyokotsu matador’s shoyu beef ramen or afuri’s yuzu tsukemen.  i ate them both in that order and from the first bite, i felt like the […]

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