18 days of travel…what books should I take?

I’m an avid book reader and would often demolish a book in a sitting. So now my trip to Japan, via  Russia and the Trans Siberian Express, is in full planning mode I’ve decided  a few things. Firslty the trip will be a chance to tick off some of those classic books I’ve never had…

Everything is now geared towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Possibly my wife would agree with the title of this blog…as my current spare time is spent with constant planning, blogging and raising funds to make the 2019 Rugby World Cup trip. However a recent interview with England head coach Eddie Jones shows the Aussie is now gearing up the England team for 2019 and…

The Chase – Part II

Friday the 13th…a date that fills dread into the heart and souls of many people, including me. However Friday the 13th will forever take on another face to me, namely the day I was on a TV quiz show with officially the “worst contestant ever” (according to the press). As discussed in my previous blog,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Time to try Tonkatsu

I intend to spend 4 weeks in Japan for my trip in 2019, which means I have to explore Japanese food more, otherwise I’m going to be very hungry when I arrive in Japan. I’m a fussy eater, so I’ve therefore challenged myself to make one Japanese dish each week, will not only expand my…

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…

10 foods from Japan which should be on your menu

As a Englishman, I’m love Roast Beef, spuds and all the trimmings, followed by apple pie with custard..that’s a good as it gets in England. However with the trip to Japan coming up in 2019, I’m going to have to broaden my horizons and my taste buds. Therefore I’ve picked ten dishes to seek out…

Why my Mum and a lucky kidney transplant drives me on….

So in this blog I cover my plans for my trip, my love of rugby  and Japan, but I  have never shared what spurs me on to do this trip..and that’s namely my health and my Mum. Growing up in Norfolk my early years were basically one of running in fields, exploring the countryside, messing…

Japan capture the 2017 Asia Rugby Championship

Japan captured the 2017 Asia Rugby Championship today after a 16- 0 win over Hong Kong. Not only was it the Brave Blossoms day of victory, but it’s also their 25th title out of a possible 30 and their 10th straight since it became an annual tournament. However critics watching the match have commented that…

Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 The draw!

So the pools have been announced and personally I’m very happy with the draw from an England perspective. Group of Death? Pah, say that to Italy, who have to face New Zealand and South Africa. Of cause France and Argentina will be tough competition for England, however they are teams we have an excellent history…

How will the Japan Rugby World Cup draw work?

So, its only days away till the draw for the Rugby World Cup draw takes place…so here’s everything you need to know. When and where is the draw? The RWC 2019 pool draw will take place on May 10, 2017, in Kyoto’s State Guest House. Who will be in the draw? Twelve of the 20 participating…

Japan blitz Korea 47-29 in Asian Championship

Japan began the defence of their Asia Rugby Championship title with a seven-try win over Korea, the World Rugby website reported.  Japan outscored hosts Korea seven tries to five to open their Asia Rugby Championship defence with an entertaining 47-29 win in Incheon. Ryoto Nakamura, Kazuhito Usami and Ryuji Noguchi bagged a brace of tries apiece…

Japan preparing for Korean (rugby) showdown

Whilst Donald Trump might be trying to work out what to do with North Korea, Japan and their coach Jamie Joseph are planning a very different Korean showdown as the plans for this year’s Asian rugby championship take shape.

New hope for flying phobes!

Good news for anyone who is scared (i.e me!) of travelling by plane… they’re looking to expand the Trans-Siberian railway, which would mean that it’s possible to travel entirely by train from London to Tokyo. The changes would see the route bypassing Vladivostok, currently the final stop on the Trans-Siberian route, with a four-mile bridge…