The FallingSky1stAvenue

Cool, funky, vibrant, soulful, fun, original… All words I use to describe The FallingSky1stAvenue experience. When rock, funk and class collide: it’s called The FallingSky1stAvenue. Notice that there is no spacing between the 2nd and 5th words of the name? That’s not a grammatical error, that’s ingenuity!

Enough said, see them in Nagoya ASAP. You’ll be all the better for doing so. And in time you will be able to boast to your friends that you saw TFS1A before they went big! Do it!


8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945… a date where, arguably, mankind stepped over a line and a weapon of mass destruction was used for the first time on a civilian population – that of Hiroshima. The people of Hiroshima, however, refused to be defined by this day. Despite the immense suffering, shortly after the blast the people of Hiroshima made a decision to rebuild bigger and better than before. A defiant point to show that their will could not be broken and that they would never give up or forget. Hiroshima’s message to the world since that time has been clear and unwavering – it’s one of peace for mankind… imploring us all to consider our current trajectory.


After many decades of ensuing toil… the reconstruction of Hiroshima has enabled over 1 million tourists per year to visit and soak in some of the beautiful garden-lined boulevards, picturesque scenery and friendly local hospitality. Hiroshima is a place that, once you have explored – you will never forget…

For more information:
Hiroshima on Wikipedia
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum



Neighbouring Hiroshima, Miyajima (also known as Itsukushima) is another of Japan’s many cultural gems. You may have seen pictures of the iconic giant O-Torii gate demarking the entrance of Itsukushima Shrine, another of Japan’s UNESCO listed world heritage sites.

To me though, as much as I enjoy visiting shrines, aside from the peaceful and tranquil walking trails, my favourite of the local attractions are the deer that inhabit the island. These well-fed inhabitants are quite relaxed around people, and some of them are quite, shall we say… “persistent” in character. The island is also great for a short, or long, hike depending on how energetic you are feeling.

If you are in Hiroshima and can spare a day to make the trip to Miyajima, I would strongly recommend to do so. You can choose the cheaper train/ferry option, or you can board a small ferry directly from the city centre and be shuttled through Hiroshima’s canals en route to the island.

More info on Miyajima

Info on the Island’s (main) Itsukushima Shrine

Miyajima Tourist Association


Nestled among the foothills surrounding Japan’s “City of Ten Thousand Shrines” (Kyoto) is a well-known temple named Kiyomizu (meaning “pure water”). A UNESCO listed world heritage site and popular tourist destination. The temple was originally built in 798AD! The original guise, however was (re)built during the Tokugawa years in 1633.

So why not don a kimono (available for hire locally) and see how many temples you can explore in one day in Kyoto soon?


For more info:

Yagyu Mazakizaka Kenzen Dojo

While many kendo practitioners mark November the 3rd as the day of the All-Japan Kendo Taikai (Cultural Day) in their diaries, kendo practitioners from Nagoya and Osaka make an annual pilgrimage to the much honoured Mazakizaka dojo in Yagyu-no-sato, Nara prefecture, to partake in a combined practice. I was fortunate enough to be invited along this year.

This is no ordinary place to practice kendo – not only is it a picturesque and serene setting in the foothills of Nara, it is very much a culturally and historically relevant place to pre-modern, and therefore modern, Japanese swordsmanship. Mazakizaka dojo is situated a short walking distance from the hallowed grounds of the famous Yagyu family’s burial plot. Here, you can pay homage to significant kensei from generations dating back to pre-Edo times.

For more information, please refer to’s excellent article here.


If you have ever wondered what it might be like to walk the streets of Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912), you would be hard pressed to find a better way than to visit Meiji-Mura for a day… or three! This place is huge, 1,000,000m2 to be exact…


The making of Meiji-Mura can be largely credited to two men: Dr. Yoshiro Taniguchi (1904-1979) and his schoolmate Mr. Moto-o Tsuchikawa (1903-1974). This was no small feat; seeing that these buildings would likely be destroyed due to the rapid expansion and other factors in Japan, Dr. Taniguchi went about collecting these buildings, dismantling them and rebuilding them in all of their former glory at a location not far from Nagoya.


When it comes to the subject of moving house (literally), I’m far from well-versed on the subject. Just moving my belongings is difficult enough! But it doesn’t take much to see that an incalculable effort has been made by the those who sourced, dismantled, transported and rebuilt these awe-inspiring structures to their original glory – this is truly one of mankind’s amazing accomplishments. These buildings are not only houses but post offices, town halls, prisons, hospitals, barracks, hotels and cathedrals etc etc etc. Not only that, but the ongoing maintenance and efforts to keep things in their original guise, yet still allow people to walk through and experience them, is most praiseworthy.


The outside influence of Western design and technology took hold very quickly during the Meiji period, as is evident in the structures throughout Meiji-Mura. That said, though, the Japanese were able to keep a distinct flavour of their own which culminates in a unique architectural style found only in Japan.

Efforts have skillfully been made to provide authentic-to-the-period gardens and to agree with the surrounding terrain and environment.


Not only buildings were collected but a plethora of antique machinery, fittings and other rare and valuable equipment. You can even board a working steam train or electrical car!


At the beginning of this post I mentioned that you would need a day or three to visit Meiji-Mura, one day really isn’t enough. In fact, I will be going back as I bought an annual ticket (which were very fairly priced). You can walk, wheel or bus/train hop around the village. At any rate, you will need more than a day to experience all the subtleties of Meiji-Mura, and even the obvious stuff for that matter, it really is big and detailed. Not everything is small in Japan…

This video should illustrate my point entirely.

So, if you are on the tourist trail and passing through Aichi-ken (or Nagoya), you would do well to pencil this in.