Final Fantasy 7 Remake Tokyo Skytree Event | Japan

I loved Final Fantasy 7. It was the second game I had ever played after Crash Bandicoot for the PS1. I have downloaded and finished it on PS, PC, and mobile on both IOS by jailbreaking, and Android by using an emulator. When Square Enix officially released it for Android, I bought, downloaded, and beat that as well. It’s just one of those timeless games that everyone looks back at fondly. I wouldn’t call myself a super fan by any means, but there was no way I would miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the Final Fantasy Remake event at Tokyo Skytree.

Ascending the 450 meters of Tokyo Skytree is an experience in itself. I love fast elevators, It’s not as fast as the elevator in Yokohama Landmark Tower but it was still fast enough for me to need to get my bearings after reaching the summit. There’s also a half glass ceiling so if you look up you can see the inner workings of the elevator.

The elevator itself is big enough for 40 people and is apparently the largest 40 man capacity elevator able to reach 600m per minute. There are videos online that show how busy Skytree can get. People are crammed into the elevator like sardines. Luckily, the day that we visited was after Japan had lifted it’s state of emergency and it was completely empty.

The view from the observation deck was unbelievable. Unless you have surveyed a city from 450-500 meters up, it’s really hard to wrap your head around the scale of things. I’m not scared of heights but looking down from the slightly over hanged ledge was like being inside a permanent vertigo episode. If I could give one piece of advice it would be this, download the Official Tokyo Skytree observation tower app. It’s an 360º augmented reality map that shows the location of Japanese landmarks that can be seen on clear days.

There were so many FF7 booths and cafes to visit. We stopped at the FF7 café to get our exclusive Final Fantasy drinks and coasters and take in the sights overlooking Sumida city.

Every 30 minutes the observation deck turns into a 360° projector light show displaying an extra long trailer of Final Fantasy Remake.

After the video we took another elevator to go another 50 meters up to the top deck where there was a hallway full of Final Fantasy memorabilia, artwork, and a store full of (extortionately priced) Final Fantasy merch.

There was a sour note to this great experience however. Once you are on the top floor you cannot return to the top floor after you leave. You get one chance to have a look around and buy what you need to buy because if you want to return to the top deck, you have to pay again. So you pay ¥3,100 (about £22-24) per person and you can only go to the top deck once. If you want to go again that will cost you another ¥1,000 (around £7). Also, these are weekday prices. Weekend prices are more expensive. I just think that considering the price, you should have free reign over whatever floor you want to visit. Bit of a sneaky money making tactic if you ask me.

All in all it was a great experience and has just made me hyped to play the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. I mean, even more hyped than I was before.


Tokyo Skytree is a neo-futuristic style broadcasting and observation tower. It broadcasts TV and radio across numerous sectors of Tokyo and it is absolutely massive! In fact, it’s the second tallest tower in the world behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

I see this building everyday, I live in it’s shadow. I see it from my wall length window every morning and it lights up my room at night. However, at no point in my time here am I ever bored looking at it. It’s crazy how the tallest freestanding tower in the world just sits there in Sumida City. Some people don’t even look up at it while they are on their way to work or on their way home. The tower is a stark contrast to the typical buildings of the neighbourhood. Despite this, most people just walk by as if it’s a totally normal thing to be in such a place.

I had lived in this flat for four months and I had still not gone in. When I moved here, I was really busy for a while and then the state of emergency happened and they shut their doors for a month or so. When they re-opened their doors and announced that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake event was still going on, @mariannavlogs and I made it a point to visit.

First we went on a little tour inside the Skytree Gallery to learn more about the tower’s construction, how long it took to build, and how they made it earthquake proof. You could see the inside of the tower and the pillars that make up the foundations, find out how it lights up, why it lights up, and what all the different colours mean. However, it’s not just a pretty lit up tower. Adjacent to the tower is a huge shopping mall called Solamachi and for me, this place is like Disneyland for adults.

After the little tour of the tower’s foundations we went to get some lunch and stopped at a ramen restaurant on the First floor Called Soratoraya. It does really amazing vegan gyoza. I went with the spicy ramen which is absolutely delicious but very, very, very spicy… and peppery. In a Tokyo recovering from a corona induced state of emergency, I spent the entire meal desperately trying not to cough my heart out. Its was like every irresistible peppery bite kicked my lungs in the crotch.

Solamachi has several floors filled with shops and restaurants. The establishments range from clothes stores to patisseries and everything in between. There was so much to see and do!

Going up one floor I couldn’t help but indulge in a totally unnecessary, completely bad for me in every way, “why on earth did I drink that” chocolate milkshake from the Godiva cafe.

Of course, there is no way that I could talk about every store here because to visit them all would require a few days and a passion for shopping that I just do not have. There is one store, however, that I definitely wanted to visit.

Pokémon Go is played by… well, everyone in Japan. I hate to generalise but if someone’s looking at their phone in public in Tokyo, chances are they are playing it. At certain times of the week there will be a rare Pokémon up for grabs and everyone just stops in place and looks down at their phone for 20 minutes. People travelling to their destination with laser focus will notice that 60 people are standing around, looking down at their phones, will proceed to whip out their phone and join in. Before you know it, the streets are lined with people playing Pokémon Go, sometimes with two or even three phones. People dressed casually, people dressed in three piece suits, people juggling 2 kids and 12 bags of shopping. People from all walks of life powerless to resist the viral outbreak that is a location based rare Pokémon hunt. Then, like nothing happened, everyone gets back on with their day. So of course SkyTree Town would have a full sized Pokémon Center!

This is the first time I had ever seen a real life Pokémon Centre. It is full of Pokémon memorabilia, everything from T-shirts to toilet brushes. There are a few arcade style Pokémon games for “kids” and huge models of Pokémon characters all over the place.

From there, we went to the Kirby Café to see if we could grab a quick coffee. We didn’t have high hopes of getting in as we have heard that they are always extremely busy and we might need to book a table in advance. It would seem however, that coming out of the state of emergency they are enthusiastic to get business moving again. Despite being quite busy, the manager and workers were eager to pull us in and sit us down.

We only wanted a drink but we took one look at the menu and had to get something to eat! The amount of Kirby related sweets on the menu looked too good to turn down!

So, it’s now 1 o’clock. We have 6 hours to burn before we ascend the 350 floors of SkyTree to see the Final Fantasy VII Remake event. Luckily, we are in the perfect place for wasting time, and waste time we did. This was the first proper outing we had since the state of emergency. So to finally leave the house and have so much stuff to do was like going to Disneyland.

Ikea In Tokyo

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes, then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then, you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now own you.”

The Narrator, Fight club.

I love Ikea. It’s full of stuff that I want for absolutely no reason, but It never used to be that way. I used to hate Ikea. With a passion. My mum would drag me there every so often to look at stuff for 5 hours… In a building with no windows, phone signal, or anything interesting to look at. For a 13-16 year old kid, I had to retreat to my happy place like a prisoner of war being tortured. I would probably feel the same way today if Ikea hadn’t added smart home stuff to their inventory because THAT is what drew me in. Then I noticed the death star looking lamp shade, the electric rising and lowering desk computer table, venus fly traps & cacti.

Some snack at the Ikea combini in Harajuku

Now I find myself getting excited about one-peace stainless steel knife sets, low to the ground television stands, extra storage options for bathroom essentials and an extended list of of other perfectly boring, mundane and otherwise “grownup” things.

“How’s the Küllen coming along? Ikea doesn’t assemble itself, you know.” “You’re telling me. I don’t mind the Küllen. It’s an improvement on the Hürdal.” “Please, anything’s an improvement over the Hürdal. I’d have taken a Hemnes or a Trysil over a Hürdal. “No, I didn’t get excited until I saw the Küllen.”

Blind AI & Wade Wilson, Deadpool
Ikea in Harajuku, Japan

Ikea has had a bit of a love hate relationship in Japan since it arrived here in 1974. Unfortunately, Japan just wasn’t ready for the “do it yourself” flatpack furniture. Not to mention, Ikea did not do its due diligence in regards to how Japanese people live with furniture. Because Japan had very limited resources to make furniture in the past, Japanese people have grown up appreciating particularly high quality furniture that lasts for generations. Ikea’s cheap throw away furniture that you have to put together yourself just couldn’t compete in that kind of sector. As a result, in 1986 Ikea threw in the towel and left. However, after 20 years (and a lot of learning) Ikea is back for round two.

“These Swedish furniture designers sure have some far-out ideas. I mean, a green table! I wouldn’t have thought of that in my wildest dreams!”

Marge Simpson, The Simpsons.
Freshly baked Swedish pastries at the Ikea combini in Harajuku

We attended the debut of Ikea’s newest Ikea store in Harajuku. Not only is it the first Ikea store to open in Japan that is in a central location, it’s also the world’s first Ikea combini (convenience store). In order to manage the horde of people eager to witness this world’s first, we had to take a number. Every so often, the security guard would flip his sign around to display a new number and everyone with that number would be allowed in. Just in case you are shopping and don’t see that it is your turn, you would also receive a text/email to let you know.

“No, Bob! We have to go forward. It’s like IKEA. We can’t turn back” “Watch out for Swedish meatballs”

Linda & Gene, Bobs burgers.
Ikea Harajuku, Japan

It’s literally across the road from Harajuku station and you cant miss it. It’s much smaller than the vast warehouse that usually springs to mind when you think of Ikea, but it’s still a hefty building. This Ikea has two floors. Entering from the ground floor and immediately to your right you will see the Swedish combini. It’s not a huge store, only a few fridges for drinks and a few frozen items. A couple of shelves for things like cookies, crisps, and pots of ramen made by Ikea. Like, a lot of ramen. A truly ridiculous amount of ramen. There were boxes and boxes of ramen stacked high and the shelves were full of it. There must have been a shipping error along the way and someone wrote 500 boxes instead of 500 cups of ramen. That or they thought Japanese people would literally start killing if they didn’t get their ramen fix. Or maybe they just hadn’t put it away yet… I don’t know. There’s also a really nice coffee shop and bakery, the cinnabuns looked amazing! The rest of the first floor is dedicated to beds, and storage solutions with a customer service section at the back. Floor two is, in my opinion, the star attraction.

Vegan plant based ramen is available at the Ikea combini in Japan

“You know, this place looks great!” “Thanks man, it’s all Ikea. Did the whole place for 47 dollars.”

John Bennet & Ted, Ted
Order food via touch screens at the Ikea combini in Harajuku. There are plant based, vegan options available.

On the second floor there are cooking utensils, kitchen stuff, bathroom items and a few other things like ornaments, plants and bags. But what self respecting Ikea store wouldn’t have a place to buy a hot dog and drown it in ketchup and mustard once you have finished your Ikea excursion. This Ikea have taken that place to the next level. They have a very futuristic looking ordering station where you use the touch screen to order your food, pay for it, take the receipt and wait until your number is called. Not to worry though, because while you wait feel free to watch the four 72″ TVs displaying the various cooking stages of Switzerland’s answer to flat bread, Tunnbröd.

All in all, a great shopping experience. It seems that with a store like this, Ikea is really appealing to customers that just want small items for storage, bedding, a quick bite to eat, and a cup or 10 of Ikea ramen. There wasn’t really any focus on giant shelving or whole kitchens like the warehouses do. I have a feeling that this kind of Ikea will be popping up in many more locations around Japan.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but there is a Chinese family in our bathroom.”

Tom & Summer, 100 Days Of Summer.

Uniquely Japan


Japan karaoke

Japan loves karaoke! Too be honest, I think it’s because they do it correctly. In the UK, karaoke is when you stand in front of an entire bar and sing to everyone in the room. So unless you’re an extrovert with something to prove, or, sound exactly like Michael Buble, you’re probably going to be a little apprehensive.

In Japan you are given a private sound proof room with your select group of friends (or on your own) where you can order drinks & food and sing to your heart’s content. It’s more like private dining in a restaurant than a very public spectacle in a bar. Two years ago you would have never caught me dead at karaoke, now you can’t tear me away.



There is a bit of a love hate thing going on in Japan at the moment surrounding Pachinko, especially recently. According to a study 1 in 4 are regulars at Pachinko parlors. It accounts for nearly a third of Japan’s entertainment and leisure market and makes more money per year than New Zealand’s total annual GDP.

“According to the Japan Productivity Center’s White Paper on Leisure, the number of pachinko players was 9.5 million in 2018.”

Gambling in Japan is illegal, but utilising certain loopholes Pachinko parlors can get away with it. Pachinko works like this: you go to the kiosk at the back of the parlor, exchange money for little balls, use the balls in the pinball style machines, which, (hopefully) will pay out more balls. You then take those balls outside and (usually) around the back of the parlor to a dodgy alley and exchange the balls for money. And the cycle continues. It would appear however, that the industry is rapidly decreasing due to a lack of new players, and a disappearing older generation.


The appreciation for natural beauty


Of course appreciating natural beauty is not unique to Japan, however, Japanese people do have an unquestionable connection to the natural beauty of Japan. There have been countless books, movies, and music written about the subject, but I have also witnessed it myself.

beauty sakura

I was walking to the shops for my weekly avocado squeezing sesh and coming the opposite way were a group of teenage boys doing what teenage boys do best, look like they are about to murder someone. They all had black hoodies on covering their school uniform. Some were on bikes, some were smoking, all were a public nuisance. However, as soon as they came across a particularly vibrant array of flowers blossoming out of a bush at the side of the road, they totally broke character. “Amazing!” They all said and jumped off their bikes and started taking pictures. It’s a running joke between me and Marianna Vlogs that Japanese people just can’t help but take pictures of beautiful scenery.



tradition Japanese traditions

I don’t know about you but as an Englishman, I can’t picture myself putting on a powdered wig, whitening my skin, rouging up my cheeks, and bouncing down fleet street with a cane in one hand and a busty “wagtail” in the other. However dressing in a Kimono, enjoying a tea ceremony on tatami mats, and making mochi by hand using 1000 year old tools is totally normal here.

I was on a day trip to hike to the top of a mountain where a very old Inari shrine is located (Inari is a kami that grants prosperity). I was feeling positive about the hike as I was making good time, and out of nowhere a Japanese businessman in full business attire shot passed me in a semi-sprint. It was totally odd because everyone was dressed for climbing a mountain in winter except this guy. By the time I got to the top, the businessman was rushing back down. “Must be going to a job interview” Marianna Vlogs says. It’s crazy (and impressive) to me that Japanese people still hold those traditions.

Onsen and Sento

onsen nak

Onsens and sento are all over Japan and they come in all shapes and sizes. They range from private small ones to huge public ones. From open space, scenic mountainscapes to built up indoor inner-city’s there are thousands of them.

Japan’s intensive volcanic activity has a huge positive, it creates the perfect hot spring water. A Japanese onsen is a natural hot spring that is used for bathing. Many traditional Japanese accommodations such as ryokans use this hot spring water in either private or public bathing facilities. Aside from pure relaxation, there are many benefits to using an onsen. Onsen water is revered for the medicinal and therapeutic properties and is believed to benefit everything from blood circulation to relief from skin conditions. 


Although similar to the onsen in some aspects, a sento is a public, communal bathhouse. The difference between a sento and an onsen is that unlike the onsen, a sento does not use the hot spring water for its bathing facilities. Instead, the water comes from a man made source and therefore lacks some of the therapeutic benefits of the hot spring water. Both the sento and the onsen however, are highly popular and found all over Japan.

I have never been to an onsen because I have a tattoo. Most onsen owners / most Japanese people in general, have a problem with tattoos. It doesn’t really bother me however, because the idea of sitting in a hot public bath doesn’t really appeal to me anyway. I mean I could just have a bath at home without naked people I don’t know walking around. Yes, I get that there are all sorts of salts and minerals in the onsen water but I’m not really bothered.


When I first arrived I thought I’d have to check in to a super 5 star hotel with electronic sliding curtains and smart mirrors that display the news before I saw my first smart toilet, but no! The airport, the train station, the restaurant, and my cheap share house all had one! Four smart toilets on my first day in Japan! Maybe I’m wrong, maybe England is the only place on planet earth without this smart technology built in to its toilet seats but Japan’s “smart toilets” are pretty much the standard here. You could go into almost any public restroom and you will be greeted by one of two situations. A squat toilet, or a smart toilet. I have googled the price of them in the UK and the cost of them is ridiculous! Here they are so cheap in comparison!

Apparently it’s down to the wiring. In the UK there is some sort of law that requires bathrooms to not have standard electrical plugs in them (maybe an electrician can comment and help me on this one). Instead you have to have stupid shaving plugs that no one has used in the last 30 years. So basically, having a smart toilet in the UK is illegal. If I ever have to live in the UK, I’m 100% breaking the law and having a standard socket put into my bathroom to get a smart toilet put in.

100s of flavours of KitKat

In the UK we have one flavor, regular. Sure we have KitKat Chunky, but that’s just a bigger version of KitKat. In Japan there are literally hundreds of flavors! They bring a new limited edition one out every month. I have actually just finished a bag of lemon shortcake KitKat (delicious, obviously) but I just can’t understand why we don’t get the same treatment! I’d love a lemon sugar, or a salted caramel, or a rum and raisin version of KitKat.

Come on Nestlé, have we not been good to you!? Isn’t our obesity level a testament to how much we spend on chocolate? There are no fat Japanese people! How much could they possibly be spending on chocolate!?


Japan is the most trusting place on earth. There have been so many occasions that I have witnessed a degree of trust that my English brain just can’t comprehend. There is a motorbike repair shop next to where I live that just leaves all their bike parts outside after they close. Seats, engine parts, wheels, exhausts, things that even I know have value to the right people. There are vegetable stalls in various parts of Japan (including Tokyo) where farmers leave their vegetables on an unmanned stall and come back at the end of the day to pick up their earnings.

In the UK, if it isn’t bolted to the floor it will get stolen. It’s why we don’t have drinks, food, or cigarette vending machines littering our streets. Even bolted to the floor ATM’s get stolen from time to time. In Liverpool a few years ago they implemented a sort of community push bike rental thing. Basically you put your card details into an app, it generates some sort of code, you unlock the bike for a price and then you put the bike back when you have finished. Can you guess what happened to most of the bikes?

I had bought myself a ridiculously expensive umbrella last year. It was massive, it was specifically a storm umbrella. It was incapable of turning inside out during windy conditions and it was made of this expensive feeling waterproof material. On my way to work one day I left it in the communal umbrella holder outside of my local 7/11 and totally forgot about it. The doors of the train closed on me and I thought, CRAP! I left my umbrella! But it was too late. I worked all day and at one point, confided in a colleague about how gutted I was that my ridiculous umbrella is lost forever and he said, “don’t worry, this is Japan, it will still be there when you get back.” It totally was! It was after 12 o’clock (midnight) by the time I got back to the 7/11 and it was the only umbrella left in the stand.

That would never happen in the UK! In the UK that umbrella would have been gone in two minutes. In fact, we don’t have umbrella stands outside our shops.

Top Ten Shows Only On Netflix | Time For A Netflix Party | Japan

There is a multitude of shows on Netflix, and finally deciding to pull the trigger and let one into your life can be daunting. “which one is the best?” “Will I like it?” “Will it be a waste of time?” “Should I really start another show when I have so much to do?” The answer is yes, but what to watch? There are so many shows both new and old to invest stock in, that you might not know where to begin? So in no particular order, let the Netflix party begin.

Tiger King


I watched it because I woke up one day and Realised that I didn’t understand 90% of the jokes and references on the internet. I could have made it a drinking game. Drink every time you finally understand a reference.

It’s a really good documentary and its edited masterfully. Just when you think you get the point of what’s going on, it drops a bombshell and you just have to keep watching. Even if you know the story of Joe Exotic, I’d still recommend giving it a watch.

Black Mirror

black mirror

Black Mirror is a representation of modern society in regards to new technology, and it is excellent! Suspense, comedy, sci-fi, horror, action. Each episode is a different genre of mini movie, but come together to give a more complete picture of the uses and misuses of potential technology throughout time.

san junapero

Everyone has their own theory of how each episode connects as it can be very subjective at times. Give the first season a go, you will not be disappointed!

black m


Altered Carbon


Altered Carbon is set in a neon Tokyo style future, where death is avoided by the rich.  Consciousness can be digitised, copied and “Re-sleeved” into different bodies provided you have the cash. It’s the story of an ex-elite soldier who is freed from his cyber prison to investigate the death of an extremely rich guy. But of course, not everything is as it appears.


I originally watched it because it looked alot like the game Deus Ex, and I love the neon Tokyo / Cyber-Renaissance / Corporate Brutalism style, but I ended up loving the storyline. Give it a go, if only to see Chris Conner as Poe. He’s one of my top ten favourite characters ever!


The Punisher


I used to love superhero movies and shows. However, I have an unpopular opinion. I happen to think that DC shows are just the worst kind of garbage on TV. The acting is terrible, the story lines are even worse and it’s all propped up by crappy special effects. I gave Arrow and flash a chance a few years ago and after watching our hero’s run around a building in power rangers style spandex, and overacting so much that even Jim Carrey would cringe I turned it off and vowed never to waste my time on them ever again. I catch my mum watching SuperGirl and The Flash every now and again and It’s just the worst thing I have ever seen. Why does “Flash” by Queen play whenever “The Flash” does literally anything? I’m cringing as I write this.


So I was a bit apprehensive when The Punisher (one of my favorite marvel characters) got his own show. I’m glad I gave it a chance though, because I was not disappointed! Pure, unadulterated, badass! From start to finish. It’s just too bad that it was cancelled. Turns out that an “armed to the Teeth vigilante” didn’t go down so well in America’s current climate of gun toting lunatics. Also, Because China basically dictates what Disney is allowed to produce, that was also another nail in The Punishers coffin. I have watched every episode and have not skipped the intro once. See why for yourself.

Don’t Fuck With Cats


Who doesn’t love a good serial killer documentary? Don’t fuck with cats follows a few regular people on the internet that turn detective after a video of a guy killing cats surfaces on Facebook. Things get a bit more complicated when he actually kills someone. Don’t really want to give too much away so just watch it!

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina


Yes Sabrina is back, but its a lot darker. After watching what Netflix did to Teen Titan’s, I thought Sabrina was about to get the same treatment but I genuinely liked it! It’s well made and has a compelling spin on our favourite teenage witch.

sabrina w

I have been told it’s a lot like Riverdale so if you like that, you’ll probably like Sabrina. Also there is a video on youtube of the original cast reacting to the new Sabrina. Can we talk about the aunts not aging a day in over 20 years? Real witches maybe?

Better Call Saul 


Better Call Saul is the spiritual successor to Breaking Bad. It follows ex-con artist “slippin” Jimmy Mcgill as he transforms himself from a small time attorney in to morally challenged criminal defence lawyer, Saul Goodman.


It’s slow. I’m not going to lie. Better call Saul isn’t for everybody. If you didn’t like Breaking Bad, you’re probably not going to like Better call Saul. But! Michael Mando, arguably the most notorious “bad guy” in video games is in it and he is excellent.



Stranger Things 

Stranger things

Of course Stranger things was going to be on a list involving Netflix and Shows. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now but just in case you haven’t, whats wrong with you? Go and watch it now! It has monsters, the 80s, winona Ryder, Joe keery’s hair, everything you would need from a Netflix show!

stranger things 2

Haunting Of Hill House


The plot to Haunting of hill house plays out between two timelines. The First is the present day where five adult siblings go about their day to day lives haunted by something in their past. Which could be a haunting or a Shared genetic mental illness. The second timeline is of them as children where the story starts to reveal itself.


Even if horror isn’t your thing, you can’t deny that this show is written, and directed masterfully. Episode 106 is particularly spectacular! But you’re going to have to watch it to find out why.

Ghost at the back

That wraps up my top 10 shows only on Netflix! If you think something should/shouldn’t have been on this list, let me know!

If you need reasons to fear the outside feel free to check out  Stay the F*ck indoors movie list!

Recent news in Japan | 2020 |Mitsu Desu!

Japan news 2020. Japan has undergone some major changes in the last few weeks due to the Coronavirus outbreak. From Japanese eels and Manboo residents, to cut down tulips. Here are a few things in Japan today that show that times are changing.

Eviction of long term residents of Manboo

Manboo is an internet café / net room. It has many locations all over Japan including in Shinjuku and Shibuya. It allows people to have their own net room/cubicle to read Manga, browse the internet, play computer games, listen to music, and relax. I stayed in one when I first arrived in Japan and although my stay wasn’t exactly comfortable, I can definitely see the appeal.

Because the price of renting a room is so cheap, and the food from the vending machine costing next to nothing (with most drinks being free), many opt to rent full time and stay in Manboo as a sort of a permanent resident. However, the outbreak of Coronavirus means that Manboo, as well as several other internet cafes have had to close their doors as they are not officially a hotel. This means that the long term residents of these establishments were forced onto the streets.

Shy Eels

This week, Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium has sent out a cry for help. It seems that with no guests coming in to keep the animals company, they are starting to get used to a life without humans. It is really starting to affect the 300 spotted garden eels. Because of the lack of human interaction, the eels are starting to burrow into the sand and refuse to come out, even when the staff come to say hello.

This makes it extremely difficult for staff to monitor the health of the eels. So in order to combat this, Sumida Aquarium have organised a “face show festival” asking everyone to call in and FaceTime with the eels to get them used to social interaction again. You can FaceTime the Japanese eels right now by FaceTiming one of these five emails. I mean why not. You could probably do with some social interaction as well.



Pachinko brings in 2.87 trillion yen per year. That’s roughly £21,006,142,870.00 and is (although being ran by the more nefarious organisations) extremely important to the Japanese economy. However, despite this, the Pachinko industry is in freefall. It continues to lose players and revenue year on year and it’s far less popular than it used to be. The reason for this is a lack of interest from the younger generations and a fast shrinking older generation. The Japanese youth think that pachinko parlours are a “criminal hotspot”. A very damming article in “Japan Today” explains that pachinko players are not contributors, and of course Japan being a harmonious society, they collectively look down on pachinko. However, Pachinko’s reputation descent has hit hyper speed this month.

When Shinzo Abe announced that Japan was declaring a state of emergency, pachinko parlours made it very clear that they will not be closing or altering opening times in any way. When Prime Minister Abe announced that he will be calling for stricter measures on weekends to help with social distancing, prefectural governors had to consult Abe on pachinko parlours refusing to close. This resulted in Governor Koike stepping into the ring and giving them one final chance do the right thing. They declined. So Governor Koike (as well as other prefectural governors) threatened to do the one thing that can hurt a business in Japan, and that is to name and shame them. Unfortunately, this did not have the desired effect and instead gave them free advertising. There have been reports that many parlors across the country are still open, but at this point nobody is surprised. The Japanese public have called to complain and issue death threats over the phone and by mail. The reputation of pachinko (like Joe Exotics financial situation) will probably never recover from this.

Flower Destruction

Japan is a country of natural beauty lovers and it’s easy to see why. From the top of Mount Fuji to the bottom Iya Valley, Japan is undeniably beautiful. Unfortunately, the recent state of emergency and social distancing guidelines have made it difficult to view this seasons flower displays. The Japanese authorities have gone to great lengths to show that they are not messing around when it comes to respecting the state of emergency.

One example of this is the cutting down of 100,000 tulips in Sakura, East of Tokyo. Unfortunately, tourists during Golden Week refused to stay home and instead chose to gather in the gardens of Sakura, forcing authorities to raze the 7,000 square meter garden to the ground. Disappointed tourists have likened the once beautiful scenery to mud pits.

Japanese authorities have promised that the tulip gardens will be bigger and more beautiful next year.

Golden week

Golden Week is a series of national holidays that take place within one week at the end of April and the start of May.

Constitution Day (a day to celebrate the ratification of the Japanese constitution in 1947)

Showa Day (honoring Emperor Showa, who ruled over Japan during World war 2)

Green Day (a day for people to honor the environment)

Children’s Day (a celebration to wish young boys strength, and success in life)

It’s a time for celebration, travel, and if you are an international traveler, an extremely expensive stress filled nightmare. However, because of coronavirus, “Golden Week” has become Gaman Week”. Gaman is a term taken from Zen Buddhism, meaning “enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.” Basically, what has been a week of celebration and travel for decades, is now a week of social distancing and isolation, and people aren’t taking it well. There have been constant warnings against travel and distrust amongst commuters and neighbours is at an all time high. Seeing a commuter with an overnight bag, or a neighbour loading a suitcase in to a car would suggest they are traveling to another prefecture. This is something that Japanese news is condemning with an iron fist and a disapproving glare.

Japans reliance on old technology

This month, Japan’s reliance on old technology is under a 300 jigawatt spotlight. Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet. Only in Japan can you be served a coffee by a robot, be checked in to a hotel room by a hologram, and get ice cream and hot drinks from the same vending machine. Unfortunately, it’s probably the only country left on planet Earth that sends hyper sensitive, super important business invoices by fax, and requires a 19th century “Hanko” stamp as a signature on official documents.

The internet officially came to life in October 1969. Companies and governments jumped at it when it became publicly available in 1991. It has been standard in businesses and governments for arguably the last twenty years (give or take three years). We now live in a world of on demand. A world where anything I want to watch or listen to (in virtual reality) is a few seconds away. Any piece of information I want is at my fingertips using a device that has four million times more memory than the first space shuttle’s guidance system. Yet Japan, is still using a method of sending information that dates back to 1947.

The handling of the coronavirus hasn’t been any different. The reporting of corona has to be hand written, hanko stamped, and faxed to public health centers. This is causing a massive backlash by the public after a doctor specialising in respiratory medicine tweeted “Come on, let’s stop this already. Reporting cases in handwriting. Even with corona, we’re handwriting and faxing.” The doctor likened it to the “Showa period”. Showa refers to 1926-1989.

The consequences of using old tech has revealed itself in full force. Breaking news today is that 111 people were left out of the official announcements of daily corona victims. Not only that, there were duplicate reports of 35 people. With nineteen fields on form to fill out for each patient, and a specific method of sending information, it’s not surprising that mistakes happened.

If I sound salty… It’s because I am. I have been forced to use one of these archaic fax beasts while being here. I’ve not had PayPal, I can’t pay for things contactlessly, move money between banks or change yen into pounds using nothing more than an app. But hey! At least my toilet can sing to me.

As of mid May, authorities have allowed the reporting of corona cases via online. Let’s hope this changes the way companies in Japan do business in the future for all of our sakes.


It’s not all doom and gloom. As an English person, one of the first things I noticed about Japan is that Japan doesn’t really have satire or take the piss out of its betters. In England, a Scottish mother can’t tell off her kids without it shooting to international fame, and a member of parliament can’t give an interview without a panel of comedians ripping them to shreds at the end of the week.

However, during her daily speech about social distancing and volunteered self isolation, Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike coined a phrase to explain the new rules. “Mitsu” meaning three, referring to the three “Cs” which are the three conditions of social distancing. “Closed spaces” Stay away from enclosed spaces, “circulation” stay out of places with poor circulation, “close contact” keep a distance from people. Unfortunately the warnings were not headed by a group of overzealous paparazzi who ran straight up to her after she had given her lecture.

Her response was to reprimand them by shouting “Mitsu desu!” Mitsu desu!” This sparked the international meme “mitsu desu”. Now, people who want some space can simply shout; mitsu desu! It has inspired countless “Mitsu Desu EDM Remixes” on Youtube. There has even been a computer game created in which Governor Koike is hounded by people and to get them away you have to strategically shout “mitsu desu.”

The Definitive Guide To Earthquake Preparation | Japan 2020

The Definitive Guide

earthquake street

Japan is on high alert at the moment. On “Earthquakes in Japan” I talked about “the big one.” It’s the earthquake that all Japanese people remember. It was on March 11th 2011 and it had a magnitude of 9.1 and caused upwards of 289.5 billion pounds worth of damage. With floods, mudslides and damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, it’s easy to understand why Japan is still dealing with the aftermath 9 years later, in 2020.


Seismologists have been warning that Japan is overdue for another big one and apparently the signs that it could be right around the corner are here. A government panel said on Tuesday, that an M9 quake and a subsequent 30 meter high tsunami could hit Hokkaido (Northern Japan). They said it is difficult to calculate if and when it will occur, but pointed to the fact that massive tsunamis have happened in the region every 300 to 400 years with the latest happening in the 17th century.

Needless to say I’m a little uneasy about it. I have had my fair share of earthquakes while living here and the little ones aren’t exactly enjoyable experiences. The thought of an M9 with a side of 30 meter tsunami has me uncomfortable in my own skin.


It’s funny, when I first arrived in Japan my attitude towards natural disasters was “bring it on!” I was mindlessly looking forward to experiencing my first “real” earthquake. I had experienced one in the UK. It sort of made my house shake a bit and caused literally pounds of damages. One or two garden gnomes and a decorative pink flamingo lost their lives to the great wobble of the UK, but Japan has real ones. Having gotten a taste of about a dozen little quakes I have since become a bit of an expert on what to do if a big one hits.

It’s big news in Japan at the moment and we are getting a lot of warnings to be prepared for worst case scenario. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to put together a full guide on what to do just incase, and help more people get prepared.

Before the quake

bottled water

1 Make sure you have plenty of water, rice and pasta. I’m sure that the recent world wide crash course in survivalism has taught us all is the value of water and pasta. We should take this time of relative calm to stock up in advance and not to panic and stockpile ensuring that there is plenty of supplies to go around. Plus we won’t need to shank a MF for a scrap of toilet paper.


2. Make sure you check for hazards in the home. If you have a particularly large, heavy book case that isn’t fastened to the wall now might be a good time to secure it. Similarly, it might be a good idea to secure that prized set of dining glassware sitting precariously on display on the top self. Make sure you move anything that can fall well away from your bed.


3. Identify safe places in your home. Under a heavy table, against an inside wall, away from windows, large mirrors, and hanging picture frames. A lot of deaths in the 2011 earthquake/tsunami were blunt force trauma cases so make sure you have a safe place to be just in case.

first aid

4. Have a First aid kit and disaster supplies. A lot of the places I stay in have an emergency supply kit. They usually contain:

  • Manually chargeable torch
  • Rubbing alcohol wipes
  • Sewing kit
  • Lighter
  • Aluminium shock blanket
  • Bandages and gauze
  • Manual can opener
  • Fully charged external battery with necessary cables to charge devices
  • Hand cranked radio
  • Whistle


In addition to first aid and essentials, it’s also a good idea to have a go-bag handy containing:

  • Change of warm clothes including waterproof mac and three pairs of socks
  • Bottled water and a few snack bars
  • Toothbrush, dry stick deodorant, wet wipes
  • Cash
  • A form of identification
  • Notepad/pens
  • Air filtration mask (preferably N95)
  • Medication and painkillers
  • A toilet roll

Your go bag might differ depending on where you are in the world. Items essential for your survival might be different. For example, if you are away from civilization then a REEHUT portable camping stove for heating food and water for coffee could come in handy.

Personally, I keep my emergency kit in my go-bag which is located inside my hallway coat closet. It’s on the way to the front door.


5. Make sure you have an emergency plan. Have a rendezvous point for family members or flat mates should you get separated. Contact an out of location family member or friend to organise shelter with them in advance should the worst happen.


6. Educate yourself on your location. Make sure you know where your emergency services are located. Knowing where your local hospital, police station, fire service and emergency evacuation shelter can be a literal life saver. Don’t rely on Google to tell you, you might not have access to your phone if the internet goes down. I’d also recommend downloading your maps offline and having a physical map handy

Do not!


DO NOT STAND IN DOOR WAYS! There is a massive misconception that doorways are structurally stronger than the rest of the house. If you live in a wooden shack this might be true otherwise get under the table with one hand on the leg of the table and the other free ready to move with the table should you need to.

DO NOT RUN OUT OF YOUR HOUSE! Weather you live in a house in the country or flat in the city, there could be falling debris. Shards of glass, bricks, roofing tiles, neon signs (the last one almost got us during a monsoon last year), if it is above you, it can fall on you. If you have to leave your house the best option is to wait until the coast is clear and calmly exit making sure to check your surroundings.

DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY EMAILS OR WEBSITES CLAIMING THE “TRIANGLE OF LIFE” IS HOW TO SURVIVE AN EARTHQUAKE. There is a particularly dangerous chain mail/whatsapp mail/ FaceBook message that is going around giving incorrect information about what to do during an earthquake.

DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. I mean what else is there to say, don’t freaken use them!

What to do after an earthquake hits 

1 Run your bath immediately. After a sizable earthquake it is common practice for water company’s to shut off supply’s to limit water loss and contamination. This water can be rationed and using buckets can be utilised for washing, poring down the toilet for Flushing, bathing, and drinking if you run out of bottled water.

2. Be prepared for aftershocks. An aftershock is a general term for earthquakes that happen after a main shock, and is part of the faultlines “readjustment process.” They can happen for months after a main shock however, they do diminish over time.

3. Check your home for structural damage. chipped paint and small cracks on the walls that appear over time aren’t nessiceraly a problem. However, After an earthquake they could be a cause for concern. Check to see if doors and windows can no longer open and close properly. Check above doorways for cracks. Check to see if there is any cracks in tile work above a concrete floor. If this is true for any of these cases your foundations may have been compromised.

4 If you have to leave your home be careful. When opening cupboards or moving from room to room. Things might have been displaced or broken. Grab your go-bag and First aid kit and leave the building keeping an eye on your surroundings.

5. Check on others. After a large earthquake it might be hard to take other peoples situation into consideration. Shock is common after earthquakes, that’s why shock blankets are in most emergency earthquake kits. It’s important to check on others within your household including animals and when safe, check on your neighbours.

6. Check for gas. Until you have checked for gas, do not light any matches or turn on any lights. If you smell gas open windows and doors and vacate the property until the necessary authorities have told you it is safe to re-enter.

7. Watch/listen to the news. Local news could give you vital information on the circumstances and might order residents to evacuate. Sinkholes, mudslides and more incoming earthquakes may be reported.

8. When driving. Carefully slow to a stop and Turn off the engine, Remain in the car until the earthquake has stopped, listen to the news on the radio for further information.

9. Use the disaster Prevention information Website for info on roads, bus services, trains, Flight and shipping info.

Here are a few things I would recommend purchasing if you plan on living in a country that can’t stay still.

When it comes to a first aid and small essentials kits, it’s important to keep it as small and light as possible to make it easy to carry. You definitely don’t want your survival kit getting in the way. I recommend the Lizipai earthquake survival kit. It’s small, cheap, and has everything you would need plus a few more things that could definitely come in handy in any survival situation.


As far as a go-bag is concerned, your personal situation will dictate the kind of bag you need. You should think of it as a bag that you could grab right now and leave without taking anything else. Take a second right now to think of everything you need to survive outside in your local environment, make a list and purchase the appropriately sized backpack (no your iMac and Star Trek box set doesn’t count). Make sure everyone in your household has their own.


I recommend downloading Survival Manual. It is a free offline mobile phone app that can help you in all manner of scenarios. Seriously, everything you can think of. Whenever I get a new phone I download it, and it stays on my phone for the life of my device. Then, I download it again on my next phone hoping I’ll never have to use it. Everyone should download this because You never know.

If you live in Japan I would also highly recommend downloading Yurekuru Call.  Literally meaning “the coming quake” it sends you alerts directly from the Japanese Meteorological Agency’s earthquake early warning system (mouth full) and allows you to choose what level or magnitude you wish to be alerted to. The system is also a lot faster and reliable than the governments cell service warning system (which quite frankly, scares the absolute crap out of me. More than the earthquake!)


If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared because anything can happen. Even if you don’t live in Japan or even if you don’t live in a country that suffers from natural disasters. Right now might be a good idea to get your backup plan ready. You never know when a global pandemic, earthquake, sinkhole, fat guy with a bad haircut, flood, murder hornets, or a tornado, can go and mess everything up.

Here is a list of numbers for you to call if you need help during an emergency in Japan.

Emergency Contacts


118-coast guard

119-Fire, ambulance, emergency rescue

0570 000 911-Japan Help Line

Japanese Supermarkets Are The Best!

I have found myself “adulting” more and more since Japan’s state of emergency, and I’ve realized that I take so many things for granted. For example, supermarkets. There are loads of supermarkets in Tokyo! Life, Summit, Aeon, Star, San Pei and about a hundred more. I was in my local Aeon in Tokyo squeezing avocados (as you do) and I noticed this old lady surrounded by an army of checkout staff, all bowing in unison profusely apologizing. Obviously, she had asked them if they had a particular item in stock and after the seven or so staff members couldn’t find it they all came and apologized to her. I couldn’t help but think: “that would never happen in the UK.” Here are a few other things you wouldn’t see in UK supermarkets.

Size Of Shopping Trolleys


In a UK supermarket, we typically have three sizes: A basket for those last-minute essentials like milk, eggs, a bottle of Frosty Jacks, bread, cheese. A trolley that is big enough to provide a professional couple for a weekend. And finally (my personal favorite), a trolley big enough to supply a family of six doomsday preppers for 3 months in the bunker, complete with a child seat and a hook on the back for that one bag that for some reason, can’t fit in the trolley. This is despite the trolley having no issue accommodating all the chosen products prior to checkout.

Well, in Japan you typically have one size: basket. If you struggle to carry your days worth of shopping by hand, you can put the tiny basket in the tiny trolley basket holder. If you struggle to pack your basket with enough food for your family, then your family is too large, and it is time for you to leave them and start again.

Japanese Shopping basket

Seriously, Japanese people couldn’t panic buy if they wanted to. One multipack of toilet paper and their basket is full. I’m sure that there is a supermarket that provides bigger baskets but for the life of me, I can’t find it. I genuinely think that one of the reasons Japanese supermarkets are still bursting with food during a global crisis is because of the size of the baskets.

Dry Ice Machine


When I was about ten years old we had a TV show called Brainiac. It was hosted by Richard Hammond (or “hamster” from Top Gear for anyone living outside of the UK). It was basically a science show crossed with a “Nuts” magazine and it was great!

They would do “pub science” experiments, and they usually involved something with dry ice. So naturally, I wanted dry ice to cause havoc. Unfortunately/fortunately you can’t buy it in the UK. At least not in shops anyway. You have to order it online via a specialist, and even then it’s super expensive.

But in Japan, they give you it for free! If you buy frozen goods like… ice, for example, they will ask if you want dry ice. You say, yes of course I do, and they give you a token. Take that token to the dry ice machine next to the bagging section and put the token in. Boom, dry ice for free. It really does keep all your frozen stuff frozen all the way home!

Dry ice maker

Naturally, as soon as I got home the first thing I do is dump the whole bag in the toilet and turn my flat into Heston Blumenthal’s kitchen.


King Of The Fruit


To be honest, I have lived here for two years and I still don’t know what it’s called. I have noticed that on each fruit stand there will be a perfect version of that fruit on the top shelf. When I say perfect, I mean perfect. Larger than average size, one vibrant colour all over, not a seed out of place. Sometimes, they have their own boxes. The prices of these fruits are ridiculous!

Apparently, people give them as gifts for things like anniversaries or graduations. “Cheers grandma, but next time gimme the cash yea? I could have bought a game… and a bloody fitted kitchen for what you paid for that cantaloupe!”

We don’t have this in the UK, any variant of the standard fruit or veg is called “wonky”. But then again, there’s always a market for cheaper fruit and veg in the UK. I don’t think the UK’s most out of touch billionaire would spend £120 quid on a “perfect” melon, even if it came in a pretty box. Plus, with food banks on the rise, shops selling exclusive £20 single red apples would probably kick-off that riot that’s on the horizon.


Salesmen are taught a myriad of techniques on how to sell things to you. One of these things is how to add value to a product. Regardless of the item or its value, you treat it like its a long lost Da Vinci. Handling it with two hands, talking about it like it’s going to change your life, but most importantly, it’s about the presentation. This curry isle looks like a bookshelf!


UK supermarkets aren’t really about the presentation. They’re more like warehouses. Stuff is just stacked on shelves, prices don’t match up some of the time, there’s a random bag of carrots on the cake shelf. They’re cold, unclean, and don’t even get me started on the supermarket café. Serious question to my readers from the UK, have you ever eaten in one? Seriously? Whenever I walk past one, either the lights are off or they’re on and there is just one old guy sat there with an empty pram, counting the ceiling tiles looking like he’s wondering what the meaning of life is. I’m sure they are a front for something else.


Not all supermarkets are like this, though. Marks & Spencer and Waitrose are a cut above, but even they can’t touch a standard Japanese supermarket. Japanese supermarkets are very clean, items are where they should be at all times, and my favorite thing is the fresh food kitchens. The UK has meat, fish, and bread counters, and so does Japan, but they are so much bigger and better. In most supermarkets, the bread counter is actually a sit-in bakery!


I actually look forward to my trip to a Japanese supermarket whereas I dread having to go to a supermarket in the UK. Look at this premium banana! I’m not sure what’s so premium about it though.



Every so often a supermarket staff member will don his or her orange vest, and arm themselves with a scanner/label maker. They will wander around the bread/meat aisle scanning items, printing barcodes, and putting things that are going off that day on sale. when this happens people seem to turn into bloodthirsty wolves and will do anything to get that packet of sausages that have been sitting on the shelf for five days and are about the expire. People will flock to that guy and stand in a crowd waiting for him to scan the next item, eager to bag themselves a cheeky bargain. Japan does it a little differently.

Unless something is branded and packaged, it is made in house that day. The sushi, the croquettes, the baked goods, the deli counter, the pasta, salad, all of it is made fresh throughout the day. At around eight pm any food that was yet to be put out is re-priced in the back and is put out with discounts on them. The items that are already on the shelves are also re-priced at the same time. So instead of a giant mob of people all clambering over one another to save a few pennies, people can leisurely pick up the items they want without having to dropkick poor old Alfred. It’s so much more dignified.


Yes, even the checkout is different. there are no conveyor belts in Japanese supermarkets. You take your tiny basket to the counter. The checkout assistant scans your items and places them into another basket (sometimes a different colour to show that you have paid). Then, they will either take the money from you, or put plastic bags in your basket for packing and move you to the second checkout assistant. They will then ask you if you have a points card (you will say no because nobody does) and take payment. You will then take your basket to the bagging table and pack your bags.

I feel so awkward standing there and watching them do all the work. I much prefer the good old conveyor belt method. They scan, I bag. Its like teamwork.

Change Your Life With Apps During The Lockdown

With news that the lockdown will be extended for an undefined amount of time, you might be finding yourself chomping at the bit for things to get back to normal. It’s totally understandable that the usual routine of getting up, watching TV, cooking dinner, and then going to bed is starting to grate on you. You might be looking for something to fill the empty void that is now your day to day life with something a bit more fulfilling.

This might NOT be you. You might be just as busy with work as you were before. Maybe, you are a front-liner, desperately trying to keep the country on track. Some of us, however, have been granted a once in a lifetime pause, in which you can do all the things you wished you could do if only you weren’t so busy. A theoretical hyperbolic time-chamber, where more or less everyone is in the same boat. Without the standard responsibilities of time or the distraction of outside interference. Why not use this time to better yourself with apps!

Learn To Trade.

Learn to trade

I started trading on practice accounts a few years ago and I found it to be a great way to learn how markets respond to issues around the world. I would be watching the news and hear that a company or country had an issue and I use that info to trade with it. I have never traded with real money, although after practicing with fake money I am confident that if I did, I could turn a profit. I made some fake money off of Brexit, Gold, and currently, I am making fake money off of Oil. It’s a really fun game and a really good way to learn how markets work.

stocks graph

You might end up “Wowing” all of your friends with your in-depth knowledge about France’s Consumer Confidence Indicator, and why its important. All while you lower the top of your S-Type SVR, giving the finger to the plebs scurrying around after you trying to pick up the 20s that are bursting out of your Hermès Birkin…Who knows.

I personally use Trading 212 but there are many others!

Rich bitch

Learn to play an instrument.

learn guitar

Since the lockdown, YouTube channels have exploded with adverts for guitar and piano learning apps and programs. All promising to make you an aficionado within a few weeks. Now, I cant even begin to back up these claims as I have never used them but by the looks of it, they could help you. At the very least, teach you a few basics. (Guitar not included) Fender Play can even teach you the Ukulele


Get in shape!

Lockdown workout male

Yes! Getting in shape during a lockdown with no gym, impossible right? I’m probably going to get a lot of hate from the fitness community but its actually super, super, easy to lose weight and get in shape even without gym equipment. There are hundreds of fitness apps out there and you have probably used one or two already.

Lockdown workout

To start with, I use “My Fitness Pal”. It’s amazing for tracking your intake of calories. You literally add your height and weight, how much you want to weigh by what date and it breaks it down for you. All you have to do is scan or add the foods/quantities you eat and it tells you how many calories you have left for the day. It links to your smart watch/pedometer and gives you a live view of your calorie burn. Couple this with your favorite 30-day bum, chest, and abs workout application like, “Six Pack In 30 Days” or “Plank Workout at Home” and I promise you, if you follow the routine, you will leave lockdown a much healthier, fitter and more attractive person than when you entered. Prove me wrong.

I also want to mention Samsung Health. If you have a Samsung device use this app in conjunction with My Fitness Pal. If I ever feel that I’m putting on a few extra pounds or if I’m starting to slim out too much and need to put on a bit of muscle, these two apps are what I use to turn it around as fast as possible.

outside traning

Learn a language 


Take it from me, it’s a lot easier than you think. I started out with Duolingo, Tinycards, and memrise and at first. The concept of learning a whole new language via an app was not something I could comprehend, but after I got past the first few levels on each app I realized that it was a lot easier than I thought! I arrived in Japan fully able to translate Katakana and Hiragana, and was able to say a few need to know phrases. It gave me a great head start. Kanji was a bit of a different story though, we don’t talk about Kanji…


If you have no interest in learning a current language then why not learn an ancient one. Duolingo also teaches Latin!

Learn to code


I don’t know about you, but I always wanted to learn more about computers and what goes into an app or a program. Maybe even get a job using computers to fix problems with my newly acquired skills. Maybe I could even create a game and become a bazillionaire and loose it all because I forgot to file taxes, and I’m in prison for life now. Baby steps, but you’ll get there. I recommend SoloLearn: Learn to code for free. It makes it really easy to follow along and challenge yourself and others with what you have learned.


Get More Confident Giving Speeches


Does your job require presentations? Would you want a job that requires public speaking? Would you like to appear more confident when talking to a group of people? Closing statement? Best man speach? Argument? A pitch to your parents about why a playstation is actually an educational tool, and that they need to buy you one now! Hell, maybe you just want to give that acceptance speech that you recite to yourself in the mirror every night a bit of a punch. Then Orai is for you!

Crowd Speaking

Orai-AI Communication Coach is a personal speech coach in your pocket. It gives you instant feedback on all of the speaches you practice, Helps you learn through fun and interactive lessons and will help you become a more effective public speaker. Seriously, give this one a go and your speeches will really land that punch you intend them too.


When this lockdown is over, who do you want to be? Think about this. The friends and colleagues that you haven’t/won’t see for potentially upwards of two months are finally going to meet up with you after this all blows over. It’s going to be painfully obvious who spent their time learning, progressing, and growing as responsible human beings, and the ones that spent there entire time binging Netflix, eating Snickers, and staying awake and drinking way longer than they should have been.

I’m not talking total overhall of your life. Just adapt a few apps into your un-busy schedule. Take working out for example, 30 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, 30 squats and a 60-second plank will take fifteen minutes maximum. In a 14-16 hour day its not a big ask.

Diet isn’t guess work anymore. You dont need a thousand-dollar coach to stand over you, and tell you not to eat that loaf of bread.

You dont need to sit in a class or spend thousands to learn a skill anymore. Tens of coders have spent hundreds of hours working on thousands of lines of code to deliver you an easy to use app that can potentaly change your life. A fast track way to learn any skill you want and all you have to do is download it. Dont be afraid to turn to technology for help, because at the end of the day.

There’s an app for that.

Netflix & Quarantine| Stay The F**k Indoors

Day 472600-ish. The walls are closing in. I have checked the fridge for the 800th time today, don’t know why, I’m not hungry. I seemed to have broken my account on Youtube as it now only recommends metal smelting videos and Animal Crossing memes. Even though I live in Japan and don’t need to self-isolate, I thought I’d do the responsible thing and do it anyway. Although, I’m starting to crack and wonder what’s the worst that can happen if I go out and have fun…

Luckily, the paid-for service Netflix, and (if you enjoy breaking the law) are here to scare the crap out of us and make us think twice about going outside! Here are my must-watch, stay the F**k indoors movies!




Let’s start with the epic foresight movie Contagion. The origin of the virus, the corruption and cover-ups that help it spread, the lack of protective equipment and, the lies and misinformation spread by people seeking to capitalize on the suffering of others. I mean seriously, either the director is a psychic or someones hiding a time machine.

A killer virus is spread around the world and we see how virologists, countries, and the public deal with the outbreak. It stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Lawrence Fishburne, Jude Law, Bryan Cranston, and Gwyneth Paltrow… who dies in the first ten minutes. I mean what’s not to like?


The Mist


There are films out there that I like to call “fuck you, films”. As much as you like the story, the actors, or the concept, these films will always make you feel as if the movie (that you have just invested two hours in) gave you the middle finger right at the end. The Mist is one of these films.

David Drayton, our main character takes his son into town to get supplies when a mysterious mist rolls in, trapping our heroes in the store. It becomes very clear that there are some kind of creatures in the mist, but, that’s nothing compared to the crazies that they are stuck in the store with.


Bird Box


Just in case you lived under a rock throughout 2018, a mysterious force starts wiping out humanity in very quick succession and it becomes apparent that if you see “it” you will die by killing yourself horrifically. It spares no one, except the criminally insane. This means that while fighting to not see a killer entity, Sandra Bullock needs to keep one eye open for psychopaths.

Its gripping, suspenseful, and will have you screaming at your TV “DONT TRUST THAT GUY!” “NO DONT LET HIM IN!” “Oh for god sake!”




You know the story by now. Rumblings of a new virus circulates and nobody listens. A lockdown and a mandated quarantine (which nobody listens to, again) is set by the government. A house party happens, and all hell breaks loose. Only this virus involves worms… And Machine Gun Kelly! Have fun with that.


A Quiet Place 


Could you imagine having to remain silent your entire life? Everyone that you live with, all of your loved ones forced to remain quiet? Unable to talk, unable to make any noise at all. Sounds like heaven, I know! But apparently, this is a horror film. Might have something to do with the 8ft, bullet withstanding monsters that kill anything that makes the slightest noise. Emily Blunt was amazing in this film.


The Silence 


Same thing as A Quiet Place, but with bat monsters, and Stanley Tucci. STANLEY TUCCI! What other reasons do you need to watch this film.

Actor Stanley Tucci attends the Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" - UK Launch Event on 23/02/2017 at Spencer House, . Persons pictured: Stanley Tucci. /Photoshot



10 Cloverfield Lane


Pulled from a car and forced to remain in a deranged man’s house. Mary Elizabeth Winstead has to put up with a crazed doomsday prepper telling her that the outside is uninhabbitable after an appocolyptic event has wiped everything out. Is he deranged? Is he telling the truth? Is this film related to Cloverfield? You’ll have to watch to find out!


The Purge


America is at a crossroads. There’s too many people and not enough money. The dregs of society are pulling down the economy and the poor are taking money from the government (undeservedly). The super-rich are not making as much money as they should be and something needs to be done. There needs to be a final solution that would end this scourge of mediocracy.  Now, in the UK you would vote conservative, but in James Demonico’s America you get one night a year to “Purge” and let the poor take care of themselves. There are four films and a TV series. Just watch every one! You will not regret it!


These are just a few of my reasons to stay indoors. From the paranormal to the very normal (as recent events would suggest). So make sure your curtains are drawn, the popcorn is buttered and your doors and windows are locked… No seriously, I mean it, go and check your doors and windows are locked, you dont know what’s out there…