Japan: The Inspiration ... Setting the scene

So this is my first blog ... and my first post, so please bear with me. 

The reason I'm doing this is because this month I'm embarking on the trip of a lifetime ... well, of my lifetime at least! I'm currently planning a 24-day trek around Japan! I never really believed that I'd ever get to do this trip. The time off of work, the money ... the excuses most people hide behind huh? But things all kind of fell into place so I grabbed the bull by its horns and thought fuck it ... it's now or never! 

Why Japan you may ask? Japan has always played a part in my life. Ever since I watched Mr. Miyagi train Daniel LaRusso to kick some serious Cobra Kai butt in The Karate Kid and subsequently being busted by my mum in the living room trying to learn the Crane Kick, which Danny used to defeat Johnny Lawrence in the final of the All Valley Karate Championship (which yes ... was embarrassing). Then watching Splinter raise four badass ninja fighting turtles (pizza was a bit of an anomaly ... but who doesn’t love pizza right?) Not to mention my obsession with the Foot Clan!

It was at about this time in my life that I started learning Ninjitsu ... but this soon got replaced by football, playing for St. Johns FC. In hindsight seeing that I didn'n end up being a successful winger playing in the premier league earning £300k a week (as every boy dreams) I probably should have stuck with Ninjitsu. That black belt would have been mine I tell you!

To be honest, most cartoons I was addicted to when I was growing up had Japanese influences or were made by one of a number of Japanese animation Studios (Thundercats and Transformers pop to mind). And then of course there was Nintendo which as a child took up around 95% of my free time (the other 5% was probably taken up with looking at pics of Pamela Anderson running in some skimpy red swimsuit!)

As I got older I got into the old school Japanese classics such as Seven Samurai, Godzilla, Throne of Blood, Harakiri, Twenty-Four Eyes and then of course Battle Royale (which ... is ... EPIC!)

This led me to Japanese artwork, which started my passion for Japanese tattoos. The detail and meaning behind such amazing artwork amazed me. From around 17 I always knew that I wanted to get full Japanese sleeves, it was just finding the right artist in the UK. 14 years on and here I am, now planning my full back piece with an amazing artist (and good friend) Paul Scarrott who last year opened his own tattoo studio Magnum Circus. And what better way to go and get inspiration for that piece than by travelling around Japan?

And that leads me to now, sitting here writing this ... in two weeks I'll be in Tokyo!!! I never thought that day would come. Now it's nearly here all I can say is that I can't fucking wait! 

I've got quite a bit of planning still to do in these two next weeks, but I'll get there. 

I'm using this blog to document my trip, shares pictures of my experiences - the food, the transport, the cities, the sights and of course, the people. 

Quite ealry on into researching for this trip I released that it's pretty hard to find out information about Japan; the hot spots; where to check out, how to get around, the best routes etc. Tripadvisor wasn’t much help which I found a little disappointing. The only other route is travel agencies, which are actually really great and helpful, but I'm hoping that this blog of my experiences may help anybody who stumbles across it and is thinking of embarking on a similar trip across this magical island!

As I continue to plan my route I'm going to add to this blog ... but for now I hope I havent bored you!


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