Heartbreaking news concerning the ticket ballot

So its been a while since I last blogged about the potential trip…so here’s the update. Good news! I’ve changed jobs (hooray!). Loving my new PR and Marketing role. I applied for tickets for the rugby world cup in Japan and was successful!!! Bad news.. The tickets I secured for the world cup were only…

2nd ticket ballot launched..fingers crossed (again!)

So, the email popped into my email account…”Book your tickets NOW”. I’ve entered the next ballot for tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2019 and if successful the trip and everything that’s involved is a GO…however I still have to wait to find out if I’ve been successful. I’ve booked tickets for all of the…

Russia qualify for RWC after Spain, Belgium and Romania sanctioned

Russia have qualified for next year’s Rugby World Cup after Spain, Belgium and Romania were sanctioned for fielding ineligible players. Spain had hoped for a reprieve after an investigation into their defeat by Belgium, which meant Romania qualified. But the panel ruled that all three countries broke eligibility rules and have been deducted points and some serious fines…

Teriyaki chicken meatballs with rice & greens

  During the Christmas period I tried out a few more Japanese recipes including this deliclious one I got from the BBC. Have a go, as it was easy to do, once I got all of the ingredients. The ingredients 2 shallots 1 carrot, cut into chunks 500g boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into chunks…

The ticket ballot has opened!

So, the time has come… Time to step up and put my hat into the ring… It’s ballot time… …and I’ve put in for my England bundle tickets! Early this morning I sat down, logged onto the rugby world cup ticketing site  and took the decision to put my down in the ballot for all…

Henn Na Hotel In Chiba, where robots are hotel staff !?

Robots are hotel staff !? Henn na Hotel-Maihama Tokyo Bay, is a might just give you a telescope into the future. At first glance, this appears to be like any other hotel. But inside there are a total of one hundred and forty robots (nine different varieties) working as hotel staff, garnering this hotel widespread public…

What gift should you bring to a Japanese party?White strawberries?

I love exploring more about Japan, its rugby, culture and food however in this video from “Only in Japan” I came across something I hadn’t expected…the Japanese love affair with not only the Strawberry, but how they prize a particular breed…the White Strawberry. As a lover of English strawberries, especially the ones grown in my…

Go Fund Me page launched for my trip

Sitting at home tonight, sending out letters and emails to potential funders and sponsors I thought it would be useful to start a Go Fund Me page. Not only would that page outline my mission for the trip, but also my background, what’s inspiring me to do this trip and hopefully encourage individuals to help…

Eddie still in the driving seat… for now

With under 2 years to go to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, the role of the next England manager is already under discussion. Eddie Jones took on the role under the clear instructions it would be only until the next world cup and Eddie, being a man of his word, will probably step…

Japan set to take on Tonga

The Japan Rugby Football Union confirmed Wednesday that the Brave Blossoms will play Tonga on November 18th at Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse, France. The union also confirmed the game the following week against France will now be played at the U Arena in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris. What a cracking pair of matches…

The ticket saga begins…

I remember it well. I took a day off work, charged my laptop and waited for the golden hour to appear. The launch of the 2015 tickets was nearly upon me and I was only minutes away. My target was 2 tickets for England vs Australia and 4 tickets for Ireland vs Italy…a weekend of…

Focus on Saitama Prefecture, Kumagaya City

Adjoining Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture (along with Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures) is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, which represents the home of over a quarter of Japan’s entire population. As such, easy access allows many of the area’s residents to work, study and play in Tokyo on a daily basis…classic commuter belt. And because of…

The power of rugby brings people together

I’m a great believer that rugby can help break down barriers and bring people together. From cultural, class, gender or disability, rugby accepts the player or club volunteer and brings them into the “rugby family”. When my mother died, my rugby family held me close. Feeding me at the weekend, supporting me off the pitch,…

Focus on Kamishi

Revisiting our “Focus on…” series of host cities, I decided to explore Kamaishi, which is an industrial city located on the Sanriku Coast of Iwate Prefecture, blessed with stunning natural surrounds and a fishing port. After the events of March 11, 2011, however, many associate Kamaishi with the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. Although devastated…

London to Japan by road…just 8400 miles

If plans go ahead, the Trans-Siberian railway could stretch over to Japan under a proposal from the Russian government. The two countries are reportedly having serious discussions to build a 28-mile bridge that would connect them for train travel. If the bridge is built, you’d be able to journey from Tokyo to London by train across 8,400 miles. Ideal for me…but sadly it won’t be ready for the…

Ketchup and Japanese food…a place made in heaven for me

Surfing for new ideas to cook I came across Omurice or omelete rice, which is ketchup fried rice wrapped with a crepe-like thinly fried egg….my first thought was “Where have you been all my life!” Now as my wife will swear on the holy bible to, our first date involved rice and me sneaking some…

A home unknown

  Serene country landscapes and exotic remote villages, dotted by colourful scenes of local life, form the setting of an inspiring new film about a journey through Russia..which is perfect inspiration for me looking to plan my trip to Japan via the Trans Siberian Express.  Produced by Berlin-based neulandherzer, as part of German airline Lufthansa’s “#inspiredby HEIMWEH” campaign…

Christian Lealiifano…an inspiration to all of us

Christian Lealiifano has just penned a five-month contract with Ulster after recovering from his battle with leukemia. Sir…I salute you. Coming back from such a hard hitting illness and recovering your fitness is something to not only admire but celebrate. Jonah Lomu made a similar heroic effort after his transplant and inspired a generation of…

Tahiti in the hunt for Rugby World Cup repechage place

Tahiti remain in the hunt for a place in the Rugby World Cup 2019 repechage tournament after upsetting the Cook Islands 13-9 to win the Oceania Rugby Cup 2017 in Rarotonga. They will face the Asia Rugby Championship 2018 champion in a home and away play-off with the winner progressing to the four-team global repechage…

Seared Salmon With Wasabi Soy Dressing

So my culinary journey carries on…however it’s a tough ask. I would would call me myself as a “safe menu” eater, but I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone. The prospect of eating raw fish is a little off-putting, but I had a go at this seared salmon with wasabi soy dressing recipe,…

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…