Video: Visiting Japan in 2015

 

In January, 2015, I visited Japan for 8 days taking in the sights in Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. I had always wanted to use the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) and finally got the chance when visiting Kyoto and Hiroshima departing from the Shin-Osaka station.

It was pretty cold as you can see from some of photos and I definitely wasn’t dressed for the occasion, having just flown out, after spending several months in Malaysia.

I stayed in a capsule hotel that had some unexpected and surprising features that I had not anticipated, but it was an interesting experience to say the least!. I spent the day in Kyoto and visited the Manga museum which is housed in a converted school. And I also spent the day at Hiroshima and stood where the bomb had detonated.

To find out more about my trip to Japan, and the rest of Asia, you can now get my book from Amazon on Kindle. The paperback version will be released in the coming days.

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Japan expects apology for Hiroshima

After visiting both The Death Railway and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, it really erks me that the Japanese expect an apology for the Hiroshima bombing. Don’t get me wrong, the atrocity carried out by the Allies during the Second World War was disgusting and I don’t condone it at all.

However, the Japanese were brutal during their wartime campaigns across Asia in their attempts to become the commanding power in Asia following centuries of European dominance in the region. Unfortunately, even in today’s age of fingertip knowledge and technology much of the details about the Japanese atrocities have been largely expurgated in Japan and much of the populous remains ignorant.

In 2009, I visited the Hellfire Pass in Kanchanaburi in Thailand, which was one of the sections of railway that suffered the heaviest loss of life, and for the first time, I recognised what horrors human beings can inflict on one another. However, I was still stunned at the things I saw at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in 2015.

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Walking through the Hellfire Pass

The Japanese people certainly deserve an apology for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, however perhaps they should also recognise the hell-on-earth they unleashed during their campaign for Asian, and possibly world, domination.

Both sides suffered terribly in the War and I think the Japanese need to take a look at their own history before they condemn the US for using a weapon during a time of conflict. If the Japanese had created the WMD they certainly would have used it, possibly wiping out half of the world too and probably without warning.

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Plaque marking the spot of Hiroshima bomb

The Japanese killed and tortured just as many, if not more, people in their slave labour camps. Is this OK in a time of war? Having not signed the Geneva Convention, they did what they liked and killed hundreds of thousands of Asian, European, Australian and American POWs. Is slow torture and murder OK? They amount to the same thing and none can be excused. I know the Japanese people are victims in this tragedy, but it is their rulers and arrogant government that is more to blame. Perhaps they should be looking to their own government for an apology for putting them through this ordeal.

War cemetery at Don Rak, Thailand

War cemetery at Don Rak, Thailand

I love Japan and I love the people, but come on guys, you gave as good as you got. Why can’t we both just both forgive each other, but if we both cannot forgive, then let’s just forget it.

Peace and love, always.

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Peace and love, always.

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Related Reading:

A Learning Curve is now available on Kindlehttp://goo.gl/zNk50z

Check out the contents page for A Learning Curve – http://goo.gl/aR9Kgj

A short introduction to A Learning Curve – http://goo.gl/aR9Kgj

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I wondered what the noise was!

Walking the streets of Penang, in search of a Thali, looking around Little India, I found a place that does excellent food. Whilst I was waiting for my meal to be prepared, I heard music coming from outside the restaurant:

 

See more photos on my Instagram page. For photos pertaining to my upcoming book, A Learning Curve, you can use the hashtag #raffsbook.

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Poised for another adventure …

Me at top of Menara

It’s that time of year again!

Well, the weather’s turning cold, and it’s time to migrate somewhere for the winter. Unfortunately, last year’s trip turned out to be a bit of a bust, in terms of Wingin’ It Adventures. I originally had plans to make a documentary of the trip through India, China and Japan but, alas, it wasn’t to be.

I was also hoping to keep a record of the trip on the blog but, again, things didn’t quite pan out as I’d hoped. The purpose of last year’s trip was to gather enough material to finally finish my long awaited book, A Learning Curve, which is out this spring, but whenever I wrote something for the blog that I thought was pretty interesting, or cool, I decided to save it for the book. In the end I got fed-up of churning out half baked blog posts and decided to jack it in.

However, as the winter is beginning to set in, I have decided to head off to Thailand for a few months in search of some work opportunities as a digital nomad.

Keep an eye out on Instagram for some more photos from last year’s trip, as well as some new blog posts coming over the winter. I don’t want to say too much but, hopefully, I will finally make it to Vietnam, which I have been threatening to do for years and, with any luck, fulfil number eight on my travel bucket list, which I really need to start getting to work on!

After my laptop failed during last year’s trip, I had to abandon my hobby of producing some slideshows but, in my excitement for this year’s trip to Pattaya, I decided to make this little video to remind me of the absolutely brilliant time I had in Japan – as if I need reminding!

So for this year’s Wingin’ It adventure, I am heading to the sex capital of Thailand for most of the trip, which should be interesting, with some excursions to some of my favourite places to visit, Chiang Rai and Koh Chang, but as I have learnt over the years, nothing ever goes to plan!

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Wonder La

Wonderla-Amusement-Park-Kerala

After researching the local area, I discovered that there is an amusement park called ‘Wonder La’ in Kerala. I hadn’t seen much in the way of swimming pools or beaches so far on the trip, and thought it would be nice to check out some of the water-rides, and then spend the afternoon relaxing pool side.

The drive was long and hot, but fortunately after 20 minutes or so, the driver put on the stereo, and we listened to ‘Radio Mango‘ for about an hour, listening to some lively Hindi tunes.

I was in two minds whether to buy the normal ticket, or a Fastrack entry, which was double the price at 1160 Rupees (£12). When we arrived, the place was already heaving with coach loads of school children, so we decided on the Fastrack option.

At first, it seemed that we were the oldest people there, and we were for the most part, but eventually some older guests arrived, and of course parents were also in tow.

It wasn’t like the sort of water-park you’d get back in Europe. There was no area for sunbeds, and everyone was wearing clothes to go into the water, and the children were going into the pools wearing their school uniforms.

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We headed for some of the water-slides. It was still quite early and the queues weren’t too long. Over the course of the day we had a go on around 10 rides in total. We had lunch at one of the food courts, but not a cup of coffee, or a freshly cooked donut in sight – something I always enjoy at water-parks in Europe.

The Fastrack ticket in the end was a godsend. Very few people had them, and we jumped straight to the front of the queue, which in some places was a 30 minute wait. I felt a little guilty, jumping straight to the front, and the huge crowds of people waiting for their turn would cheer and taunt us every step of the way, as we waited to get down the chute. I had a go on the rubber rings, and right at the start I toppled over, much to the amusement of onlookers. As I went over I heard the crowd roar, and then I got stuck at the top of the slide – which was a little embarrassing.

So without an opportunity to sit and dry out in the sun, and nowhere really to relax, all that was left to do was head for the wave pool. By now the place was pretty busy, and looked a little intimidating with approximately 400 people in the water, I’m guessing. Throughout the whole day people would approach us and say hello and shake our hands, and the wave pool was no exception. It was men only and the woman had their own wave pool across the way.

Once we’d managed our way through the crowds of people, splashing and having a thoroughly good time, we made it to the deep end, which was still pretty full of people. Once the waves started coming, everyone went crazy, shouting and hollering, it was total carnage – I imagined, this is what it’s like Sunday morning on the Ganges.

Throughout the day we only briefly saw another couple of European’s, the rest of the time, it was just the two of us. I suppose it’s about as close to celebrity I’ll ever get, with people wanting to say hello and shake hands.

It was a fun and tiring day, and probably the most exciting experience I’ll ever have with my clothes on.

See the full story here…

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