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Japan on a Budget: Aoshima

From Kagoshima I decided to head around Kyushu anticlockwise, with the first stop being Miyazaki and, just to the south of that city, Aoshima. There’s no Shinkansen access to the east of the island, but ‘Kirishima’  Tokkyu express trains run across in a couple of hours. Miyazaki City I was only passing through Miyazaki, but […]

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Japan on a Budget: Kagoshima and Sakurajima

If getting from Nagasaki to Kumamoto proved a bit tricky, getting from Kumamoto to Kagoshima is a breeze: jump on the Kyushu Shinkansen and head south – it terminates at Kagoshimachuo station, right in the city (Kagoshima Eki is to the northwest). I arrived in town early in the morning to find shopkeepers still busy […]

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Japan on a Budget: Kumamoto

If you’re traveling around Kyushu, you’re likely to pass through Kumamoto more than once. Which is fine, as it’s a really pleasant city in which to while away a few hours or days. Transport and Trains Kumamoto is on the Kyushu Shinkansen line, roughly half-way down the island and so between Hakata in the north […]

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Lotto? It’s not. Oh.

Look what landed on my doormat – a free EuroMillions lotto ticket! TL/DR: except it’s not. But it’s slightly interesting, so: If you visit the website (lotovoucher.com, registered to one Michael Frayling, address obscured), you’ll be asked to click through to lottoland.co.uk, where you’ll be offered the chance to ‘Play lotto securely’, and you’ll see […]

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Japan on a Budget: Nagasaki and Shimabara

Everybody knows of Nagasaki for one reason. And, like Hiroshima, it’s the home to both an excellent museum documenting the nuclear attack and some moving memorials to the victims. But, away to the South, there’s much more to see besides – if you’re in Kyushu, it’s a city I wouldn’t want to miss. Transport and […]

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Japan on a Budget: Fukuoka

A few years back I traveled around the Kansai area, and last year I headed North from Tokyo to visit the Tohoku region. This year, something a bit different – sidestepping Tokyo altogether, I decided to visit the south-western island of Kyushu. In the end I managed to almost entirely circle the island, taking in […]

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When bad news makes money, making up bad news is good business

The other day a message scrolled past in my Twitter feed: Which made me think: if the sea off Fukushima really were boiling, I’m pretty sure we would have heard about it. Except if there were some sort of amazing cover-up, in which case why would NHK (which is, essentially, the Japanese BBC) be showing […]

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How To: Make a 3DS grip from an old GameCube pad

When the 3DS was first released, I was a bit nonplussed. I mean, the 3D worked just fine, but at the European launch it cost a fortune, there were few good games, and the system was made in an inexplicable turquoisey colour. In the last few months, though, it’s all changed. There’s now a lower […]

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18 Months in (mostly) cats

I’ve had my iPhone for 18 months now, and for most of that time it’s been the best camera I’ve had to hand – so I’ve taken thousands of photos. Most of them never left the phone, but now that I’m about to take a screwdriver to it (busted headphone jack) I thought I’d rifle […]

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Stuff the App Store needs to do..

The iOS App Store really is a brilliant thing. I first learned to program way before internet access was widely available, so the options for sharing my first creations (in STOS Basic, on the Atari ST), amounted to 3.5in floppy disks – today, if you can code something you can easily distribute it to a […]

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