Amazing opportunites for companies who sponsor my trip

I intend the travel to Japan via the Trans Siberian Express with 3 core aims in my mind… – Firstly to  inspire transplant and diabetic patients both here in the UK and Japan,and show them anything as possible. As someone who has kidney and diabetes issues since the age of 25, I’ve been greatly inspired…

Japan is Kit Kat Krazy!

Part of my planning for my trip to Japan is working out what presents I intend to bring back for my family. As you can imagine being away from home for so long will entail several bribes! My wife has yet to decide what gift she’d like, my youngest son  wants a Japan rugby shirt,…

Japan put in brave performance against Ireland

Rugby is often described as a sport for all sizes, but I’d expand that and say all religions, all cultures, all backgrounds, all genders….. therefore I’m delighted to see the Women’s Rugby World Cup, currently being held in Ireland, inspiring a new generation of female players across the globe. As my wife is Irish and…

Podcast interview with JRugby just released

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lee Watkins from JRugby Podcasts, who heard about my trip to Japan via the Trans Siberian Express. From talking about the aims of the trip, what’s involved, how my health has affected my travel choices and what I intend to do in Japan…it’s all here. So,…

Focus on Kobe

As part of my revue of the cities involved in hosting teams at the Rugby World Cup in 2019, I decided to look at Kobe, Japan’s sixth largest city.  The Port of Kobe opened in 1868 and adjacent to the port, a foreign settlement was established for the influx of people and cultures from around…

Japan’s women team prepare for Ireland RWC 2017

Came across this superb interview with Japan’s women skills coach, Keiko Asami, providing a unique insight into the development of women’s rugby in Japan, how rugby is growing into a national sport and their intentions for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, set to be held in Ireland in just a few weeks. Click on…

Focus on Sapporo City

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about the various host cities for the Rugby World Cup 2019, exploring what they have to offer and what to see. This week I’m looking at Sapporo, which is the largest city in the northernmost main island of Hokkaido, with a population of 1.9 million. The city…

China aims to be global rugby superpower

It’s being reported that China is to host the richest ever rugby sevens tournament, with the top eight finishers from the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series to fight it out in the “Champion of Champions” in Shanghai in October.  The tournament, which is a similar concept to the eight-player ATP Finals in tennis, is part…

Sunwolves win against the Blues stuns bookies

The Blues’ 48-21 humiliation at the hands of the Sunwolves is officially the biggest Super Rugby upset this century.  I thought it was, and now the bookies have confirmed it! Data collected  in New Zealand has uncovered odds on every Super Rugby game since 2000, and the Blues’ humbling in Japan ranks as the most…

Duck breast with umeboshi sauce and steamed bok choi

So this week, I’ve tried to make Duck breast with umeboshi sauce and steamed bok choi, thanks to a recipe I found with James Martin, featured in James Martin Home Comfort.  Looking at the recipe and ingredients I thought I could manage this, however due to my diabetes I might have to swap out a few…

The dangerous art of making Mochi

Ever tried Mochi…not me, but after  seeing this video today it’s certainly on the list. This video follows Mitsuo Nakatani, who have been making Mochi for 23 years in what can only be described as the fastest man in Japan! Mochi is a rice based treat that has to be pounded and folded by two…

Lions, Tonga and a house move…its been a busy few weeks

So, the British and Irish Lions have finally returned home with a draw..which I feel is certainly a win in many ways. Taking on the consecutive world champions New Zealand, the Lions came away in the 3rd test with a strong performance that ended with a lucky win…how Warburton convinced the ref to reverse the…

Japan culture, art and society captured by BBC4 Japan season

If you have had the chance to watch BBC4 and their Japan season you’d have enjoyed a rich variety of documentaries profiling the soul of Japan, its culture, arts and society. From watching detailed work involved in making a traditional Kimono, the impact of the Shinto religion on this mystical country, Samurai swords, great artwork…

Japan taste defeat at the hands of Ireland

To prepare for the Rugby World Cup in 2019 Japan have to take the long and difficult road against tough opposition and this month Ireland came knocking to take on the Brave Blossoms. With a weakened squad, Ireland would still be tough competition for Japan, who hoped to ensure the result would cause a stir…

24 hours in Moscow

My trip to Japan in 2019 will involve a number of capital cities, including travelling from rural Norfolk to London, onto Brussels, then up to Moscow, where I intend to catch the Trans Siberian Express. Moscow conjures up the Kremlin, the USSR, Vodka bars and New Years Eve in -20 degrees. So I’ve being doing my research…

What does it mean to be a Lion?

  When an International player retires, you often see the press comment about the players achievements, their domestic record,  how many international caps they received, the world cups they played in..but for a few, a very lucky few, the words “British and Irish Lion” is mentioned and that title simply sums up that player. To…