Moving In 2015

Itabashi-ku has been the home of the all-new Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre since the start of October and so far it’s all been mostly good and our old place in Shinjuku-ku already seems such a long, long time ago! Of course it’s still early days but so far we are enjoying sunshine coming into the apartment each morning as well as a bit of wind going through it when we open the windows and doors. Neither really happened in our old place and sadly the walls became a bit mouldy but the new place is located in the corner of an apartment block facing the all-important south-west direction with two sizeable balconies.

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Pain, Agony And Torture – My Week Of Hell

You’d think that a week where Leicester City went top of the Premier League would be a good one but that wonderful achievement could only slightly mask what personally was a nightmare six days for me.

My tale began last Thursday (Oct 19th) when I was feeling tired so I sat back and closed my eyes  with my smartphone playing a podcast while it sat in my shirt pocket. I soon fell asleep and when my power nap ended 15-20 minutes later I had a terrible pain in my chest where the phone had been. I still have no idea what exactly the problem was but the phone must have overheated (with apps running and all that) and fried my body. Continue reading

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Review: Films Inspired By Japan – Star Wars (1977)

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For the average Star Wars fan this may come as a bit of a surprise but many Star Wars fanboys (and girls) and Japanophiles are aware of how much Star Wars was influenced by Japanese cinema and particularly the works of legendary director Akira Kurosawa.

Though some of the other Star Wars films and animated TV series’ include scenes, costumes and names inspired by Japan, the one that has been mostly influenced by Kurosawa’s samurai movies is the film that later went on to be retitled as ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope‘ but when originally released was simply called ‘Star Wars‘. Continue reading

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On Screen #7 – Cambodia

This south-east Asian country is one with such a troubled past so it is with a hint of embarrassment that my gateway to all things Cambodian came from a movie based on a popular video game. Yes, it was indeed ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider‘ (2001) which sparked my interest in Cambodia rather than any of the more serious pieces made about the Khmer Rouge.

When Cambodia first appears, Lara (Angelina Jolie) is parachuted down (in her Land Rover no less!) into Siem Reap on a mission to retrieve half of the triangular MacGuffin. Phnom Bakheng is where Lara begins her journey as she looks through her binoculars before driving off from outside Bayon temple in Angkor Thom. 

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Tokyo Daytripper: Reiyukai Shakaden Temple

One of the most popular Tokyo Fox posts ever is ‘Music Video’s Filmed In Japan‘ and ever since it appeared in June 2014 people have been commenting on it to let me know of other promotional videos which were filmed in part in Japan. Recently, one kind lady sent me a long list of videos including the locations used and the time that they appear. Such detail that I was very happy to see included as it makes my job a lot easier! She mentioned that Reiyukai Shakaden was included in a couple of videos (below) by and The Weeknd which bemused me as I’d never even heard of the place. I like to think that I know the sights of Tokyo reasonably well so how could such a place have been amiss from my radar?!

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TF Top 10……Star Wars Filming Locations

When ‘The Force Awakens‘ hits cinema’s worldwide mid-December it will bring a 22 year wait to an end as the story of Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, R2D2, C3P0 and so on continues. Of course there’s a brand new supporting cast alongside them who will no doubt take the story on from the legacy characters.

New filming locations include Skelling Michael in County Derry (Ireland), Abu Dhabi (UAE), New Mexico (USA), Greenham Common (UK), Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire (UK), Scotland and Iceland. I’ll hopefully visit them some day but for now it’s time to look back at the current pilgrimage sites which are essential for serious Star Wars fans to visit and truly feel the force.

Here then, in no particular order, are the Tokyo Fox top 10………Star Wars filming locations…

1. The Lars Homestead @ Sidi Driss Hotel (interior), Matmata and Chott el Djerid (exterior) (Tunisia) – ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope‘ (1977) & ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones‘ (2002)

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The Process Of Becoming A Homeowner In Japan

As reported in ‘Moving Out 2015‘ the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre has indeed found a new home and it’s back to Itabashi-ku that we go just over 2.5 years after I moved out of Kami Itabashi to move in with my other half .

No sooner had we come back from Cambodia and my wife had found this place online and after seeing it, the wheels were put in motion for us to purchase our first house. Naturally this was no simple process and this being Japan it was made (perhaps) even more complicated by all the administration and red tape that needs to be got round for such a transaction to take place. Of course this is one hell of a purchase and can’t just be done so easily but it always seems like such things take much longer in Japan. Continue reading

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