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Japan on a Budget: Toyako Onsen

About half way between Hakodate and Sapporo you’ll find an almost circular lake with a handful of islands in the middle, and on the southern shore of that lake the resort town of Toyako Onsen. Lonely Planet describes it as “faded”, which is a pretty fair description, but if you have the time it’s worth […]

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Japan on a Budget: Hakodate

Six months after leaving Kyushu, I couldn’t resist a super-cheap flight into Haneda in early May. Having never visited Japan in springtime before, this was a chance to finally see the famous cherry blossoms – except that I would be arriving a bit late, and the only area still blooming with sakura would be the […]

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Booking Japanese train tickets from outside Japan

I’ll say this upfront – if you’re visiting Japan as a tourist, probably using a Japan Rail Pass, there’s really no need to book tickets before you go. I’ve hauled myself around most of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido on dozens of trains, usually booking a day or two, at most, before traveling. But then, sometimes […]

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Kittens vs UKIP

Per the excellent suggestion of Marina Isaac, UKitten is a Chrome Extension that replaces all images of Nigel Farage or related to UKIP with images of kittens from Tea and Kittens. It’s available now from the Chrome Web Store. UPDATE: Now also available for Safari – click here to download, then double-click that file to […]

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