The Waffling Taylors logo superimposed on the Japanese flag

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There are a fair few photos in this post, so it might take a while to load.

Notes

We promised it last time, and now I’m delivering it: it’s Jay’s Japan Diaries.

This episode is a bit of a break from the norm, as it’s not really about video games. In mid-April, I took a trip out to Japan. Whilst I was there, I decided to record some audio diaries so that I could create an episode about the trip when I got back. And this is that episode.

Day 0 Inchon Airport

It starts with a really short recording that I had made during our hold over ion Seoul, Korea. We were only there for a few hours, but it felt like longer

mainly because I’d been awake for more than 24 hours by that point

The recording was taken on my phone, because I’d left my recording equipment in my suitcase, so it’s a little rough

but not as rough as the recording on the boat, which we’ll hear soon enough

Here’s a photo of the cool robot that I mentioned:

A robotic assistant at the airport in Korea
This wonderful robot was designed to help guide people around the airport.

It’s job was to guide people around the airport, so you would approach it and ask for help. It would ask you what you were looking for, then it would plot out a route and walk you there.

It also had a photo mode where it would pose for selfies with people.

Day 1: Fukuoka

Fukuoka is one of my favourite places to visit. We stayed in a hotel attached to Canal City, and it’s an amazing place to visit.

A close up of the menu at Pomme's in Fukuoka
Pomme’s is an amazing place to eat at. If you’re ever in either Fukuoka or Nagasaki, seek one out.

I mention our first meal in Japan, it was Pommes – which is my favourite place to eat in Canal City.

A poster of the Space Invaders Groovy Invades Canal City event
It was an amazing event, and it’s going on for a few more weeks. Well worth going to Japan for
Day 2: Hirado over to Oshima

We took the ferry from Hirado over to Oshima (literally “Big Island”), which is why the audio is a little rough

the engines were super loud

but I’ve tidied it up as much as I could.

When we got to Oshima, Remco

the friend we were with

was gracious enough to teach us how to call on the gods at one of the shines there.

A shinto shrine on the island of Oshima, near Hirado
This was the shire we visited where we were taught how to call on the gods

We were also given special permission to enter a temple on Oshima. It wouldn’t normally have been open on that day, but one of the councilmen for the island spotted us and asked if we wanted to take a look.

Day 3 Hirado’s Beach

The day after our trip to Oshima, we went looking around in Hirado and found a wonderful beach

A panoramic shot of the beach at Hirado
That was the view from our strip of beach, and the busiest it got

After that, we went up to Hirado castle and got the chance to get up close and personal with some relics from the Battle of Sekigahara. Like, the currator there took them out of the display cases and let us have a look

you wouldn’t get that anywhere else

A photo of some armour which had been used at the Battle of Sekigahara
This is how close we got to some real Japanese history. Someone will have died at Sekigahara in this armour
Day 4 – Matsura Museum

And on Day 4 we went to Matsura Museum, where they allowed us to walk around in period costumes from the Kamakura to Meji era

Jay having gotten changed into traditional Japanese clothes
I don’t really look like a Samurai lord. It’s the bandanna which makes me look like a Westerner, right?

I looked like a little like a samurai… except that I don’t look vaguely Japanese

Jay and two of his travel companions stand in the grounds of Matsura Museum with Hirado castle in the background
The faces of the (slightly) innocent have been blurred for your entertainment. Also Hirado castle in the background, looking majestic

Whilst we were there, we got to take a look at some documents from 500 years ago

An official edict, signed by Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was shogun between 1603 and 1605
This is one of the super old documents we saw at the Matsura Museum
Day 6 Nagasaki

It was day say before I recorded anything else

I’m allowed to take some time off, right?

This was also the day that I picked up a copy of FFIX for PS1 for 740 yen – which came out at around 8GBP – which is what I was referring to in this tweet (sent out moments after buying it):

Whilst we were there, we climbed Inasa Yama – which is a mountain which lets you look down on the entire city – and it was gorgeous

A view of a small portion of Nagasaki from the top of My Inasa
The view from Inasa Yama was amazing – and this was only a small portion of it

But on the way to Nagasaki, we spotted a sign pointing towards a small town called Yoshii

A Japanese road sign showing the way to Yoshii
Seriously, it’s a real place

Because we were on the move, I wasn’t able to get a good photo of it, but I swear to you that there is a shop in Yoshii called Mario.

it looked like it could have also been a restaurant

Day 7 – Nagasaki Temples

I took some time to look into the temples in Nagasaki, because I’m really interested in Shinto and Buddhist structures. I visited Sofukuji

The entrance to Shofukuji temple, Nagasaki
Sofukuji was founded by Eisai, over a thousand year ago – he brought Zen Buddhism to Japan

and Kofukuji

The entrance to Kofukuji temple, Nagasaki
This temple was founded in 1624

I also had a change to check out Meganebashi, which is also known as Spectacles Bridge for reasons which should b obvious from this photo

A photo of Spectacles Bridge - so called, because it (and it's reflection) resemble a pair of spectacles
And now you know why it’s called Spectacles Bridge
Day 9 – Fukuoka Redux

We travelled back to Fukuoka from Nagasaki, because that’s where we would be flying from on our way home

sometimes there’s method to the madness

Day 9 was our last full day in Japan, so we decided to take in the Reclining Buddha which meant that we took a trip to Nanzoin temple

The reclining Buddha at Nanzo-in temple in Fukuoka
The reclining Buddha really does make nibana (nirvana: enlightenment) look easy

You can’t really tell the scale from that photo, so here I am touching his middle toe

A close up of The reclining Buddha's feet, with me touching his toe for scale
Including a Jay for scale

But what was amazing about Nanzoin was that it was an active, in use, temple

like, you could hear people praying and chanting as we walked around

As such, there were only certain areas where you could use your phone. When I asked about taking photos (because I couldn’t understand the rules placard), I was told:

If it looks like a shrine: don’t take any photos. If you’re inside the main temple: don’t take any photos

But they did have a bench where you’re allowed to play Pokemon Go

A pair of benches at Nanzo-in temple where you are allowed to play Pokemon: Go
The sign says that you are permitted to play Pokemon Go here

Games Mentioned

  • Space Invaders Groovy Invade Fukuoka
  • Godzilla
  • Resident Evil 2 (2019)
  • Initial D The 6th Stage
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy
  • Total War (series)
  • Command & Conquer (series)
  • Pokemon Go

Jay’s Games

  • Space Invaders Groovy Invade Fukuoka
  • Godzilla
  • Initial D The 6th Stage

Music

Links to the music used in the podcast can be found below. Definitely check them out, because they’re amazing tracks by awesome musicians.

Comments

Leave a comment in the section on this page and let us know what you liked, what you didn’t like and which games you’d like to hear us waffle on about next time.

Until then,

Game on!

Jamie is one of the Waffling Taylors. He spends a lot of time blogging about things sometimes related to programming and sometimes not.