Culture night demonstration video

Had a hectic day on Friday – myself and my martial arts group performed an ’embu’ or public demonstration in Dublin city as part of Culture Night. We did it three times during the evening, for around 150 people each time.

South Frederick Street was stuffed and it generally seems to have been well received. We were also filmed by RTE News and appeared live at 6pm and prerecorded at 9pm on Friday. The Irish Times and a few other papers mentioned us on Saturday as well. Which was nice.

We were joined by some fantastic taiko Japanese style drummers to provide a pounding back beat. All in all, I think it went pretty well.

Culture night Japanese martial arts exhibition

So it’s ‘Culture Night’ this coming Friday, and my martial arts group will be giving a series of short public demonstrations of the Bujinkan Dojo martial arts in the city centre.

According to their website: “Culture Night is a night of entertainment, discovery and adventure in Dublin and across 34 towns, cities and counties in Ireland. Arts and cultural organisations will open their doors until late with hundreds of free events, tours, talks and performances for you, your family and friends to enjoy.”

We’ll be doing our thing on South Frederick’s Street at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm, with each demo lasting around 10 minutes.

You can find out more about the specific event we are taking part in here.

There is a Facebook event page for the evening as well, so you can give the organiser’s a head’s up that your thinking of coming along.

So if you’re free come along and say hello.

Images from Japan trip, July 2012

I was in Japan for two weeks at the end of June/start of July for a combination of work and recreation – as always took lots of pictures so here is a selection. I haven’t updated this blog in a while so to be honest, I think I may have missed a trip here – I was there last November as well. If people are interested, I’ll see if I can dig out some pictures from that trip too. Enjoy.

Phototouring Japan

I got back from Japan a few weeks ago, and am sitting on an enormous number of pictures, so here are some interesting ones. Enjoy.

Tokyo food and travel

Interested in visiting Tokyo on a culinary adventure? Well, I’ve a feature in the current edition of Food & Wine Magazine on Tokyo that might be of interest.

(Pic courtesy of the Japan Tourist Board.)

Unfortunately, it’s not online but you can get it in shops in Ireland now. I may post it up here once the magazine is off the retail shelves, but in the mean time, if you’re interested you can do that old fashioned thing and go buy a copy.

Michie Dublin!

Regular readers of this blog (or in fact just normal people who know me!) know I have this Japan fetish thing. Been there a lot, like the country and the people, practice old style Japanese martial arts etc etc. One of the best things about visiting Japan is how fantastic the food is – it’s actually hard to find bad food in Tokyo. Getting decent Japanese food in Dublin is next to impossible, however. The few places that do it, just don’t do it well. It’s usually only average in quality and seriously overpriced.

The vegetarian combo set, costing just €9!

Anyway, I recently heard about a new Japanese restaurant and based on some recommendations, checked it out last week. Called Michie (pronounced me-chee-hey), it’s locate up a lane in Ranelagh in a tiny converted industrial unit. The owner, Michelle, told me his business is mostly based on deliveries and corporate catering bookings, but he recently put five or six tables out and opened it to the public – quite simply his food is really good. Easily the best Japanese-style sushi, norimaki, katsu currys and miso soup I’ve tasted anywhere other than Tokyo and much cheaper than the competition. If you haven’t been, check it out.

Michie has a website here:


I’m just back from another Japan trip – my 14th – and I have the jisaboke something bad.

Jisaboke means jetlag in Japanese, but I’m informed that it actually translates more entertainingly as “time difference stupidity,” which actually is far more descriptive of what’s going on in my head right now. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything without epic quantities of caffeine.

Still, I had a great time and got to do some really interesting stuff I hadn’t done before.

Daibutsu of Kamakura
Daibutsu of Kamakura
Hachimon temple in Kamakura
Hachimon temple in Kamakura
A kusari doi or rain chain
A 'kusari doi' or rain chain
Japanese curry, with sprouting genmai brown rice and tofu age or fried tofu. Yum!
Japanese curry, with sprouting genmai brown rice and tofu age or fried tofu. Yum!
Inoshima Island at sunset
Inoshima Island at sunset
Japanese garden at Narita Temple
Japanese garden at Narita Temple

Some nice video of Nikko

A friend of mine shot and posted this very beautiful piece of video on vimeo. It’s of the mountain town of Nikko in Japan, a famous tourist attraction a few hours north of Tokyo. I go there a fair bit when I’m visiting that country as it serves as a sort of antidote to the concrete modernity of Tokyo itself.

It’s also possible to just get lost in the woods and hear nothing but birds and insects, and know you’re not in a city park surrounded by Starbucks outlets and high speed trains.

Thanks Roger!