By Manami Miura, award-winning sake sommelier at the Ginza Kimijimaya liquor store, instagram.com/sakephygram My city in a nutshellTokyo is a city of gigantic proportions: 47 neighbourhoods slotting together like parts of an elaborate puzzle, home to more than 4,000 shrines and temples, 6,000 parks, and 300,000 restaurants (10 times as many as New York). Quiet shrines stand near neon-lit electronics shops, and serene parks edge up against alleyways lined with late-night ramen bars. But it wasn’t always this way: in the 1600s, when Tokyo was still called Edo, it was nothing but a tiny fishing village, until the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to build a castle here. In 1868, it was made the capital, and it is now among the largest cities in the world. If you do one thingAsk 100 people what to do in Tokyo and you’ll probably get 100 different answers. I tell people to walk around Ginza. This central neighbourhood is one of Japan’s wealthiest postcodes, where glossy … [Read more...] about The insiders’ guide to Japan’s Rugby World Cup cities
Coventry city badge
Nîmes, France Fastest journey from London 6½ hours via ParisCheapest Nov fare with Eurostar £168 return With its remarkably well-preserved Roman amphitheatre plus its new museum of artefacts, not to mention great shops and restaurants, Nîmes makes a superb autumn destination. The crowds have gone and although the intense heat has rescinded, the surrounding hills trap the summer temperatures, making it warm enough to sit out on a cafe terrace and watch the world go by. Make your first port of call the amphitheatre - Les Arènes (entrance €13, including the other two Roman attractions mentioned below). Explore the interior corridors (vomitories), then climb to the top of the terraces to see the amphitheatre (133 metres long by 101 wide) in its full glory. The top tier also offers views of the surrounding hills (seven, just like Rome), including Mont Cavalier, the highest point of the city, on which the Roman Tour Magne, built by Augustus, stands sentinel. … [Read more...] about Go loco: top 10 autumn city breaks in Europe by train
Barcelona was bracing for fresh violence on Saturday after nearly 200 people were hurt in a night of clashes when radical separatists hurled rocks and fireworks at police who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Piles of burned garbage and destroyed bicycles littered the Spanish streets after fires were ignited during Friday night's riots, which came amid growing anger over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders on Monday. A radical movement of young separatists, Arran, on Saturday called for a new demonstration 'against repression' at 4pm in central Barcelona. On Saturday, authorities confirmed 152 people were injured in Barcelona, with dozens more hurt in the rest of Catalonia, taking the total to 182. Early on Saturday, the air in the Catalan capital was still heavy with a burning stench as municipal workers cleared the streets of broken glass, rocks and rubber bullets, and repaired pavements where bricks had been ripped out. Destroyed bicycles littered … [Read more...] about Broken Barcelona: Huge clean-up operation begins in Spanish port city after night of violence left 200 injured following protests over jailed separatists
Robert Preston takes the grainy photo – just a few square centimetres and yellowing with age – from his wallet and with a careful thumb and forefinger holds it up to the light. In the picture he is just seven and his three brothers are aged three to 11, the youngest grave-faced and chubby cheeked. His 14-year-old sister, her dark hair perfectly coiffed, peeps over the tops their heads. It’s the Glasgow Fair holiday circa 1947 and they are in Dunoon, a coastal town that sits on the Firth of Clyde and a popular “doon the watter” destination for Glaswegians escaping the urban sprawl. “I’m the only one left now.” The 76-year-old Preston’s tone, who was born in Govan, icon of Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage on the River Clyde, is matter of fact. Two brothers died of cancer, one of heart complications, and his sister dropped dead in the street after a brain aneurysm. “I don’t think that’s unusual,” says … [Read more...] about The Glasgow effect: ‘We die young here – but you just get on with it’
When Gyula Remes died on 19 December 2018, across the road from the Houses of Parliament, there was an outcry. Remes, aged 43, was Hungarian and homeless. He had been sleeping in a passage in Westminster tube station that led into Parliament square. It was the second homeless death in the same underpass in 10 months. The Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “There is something rotten in Westminster when MPs walk past dying homeless people on the way into work.” Later that day, Remes’ death was discussed in the House of Commons. The Liberal Democrat MP and former health minister Norman Lamb said: “It is grotesque and obscene that we have a homelessness crisis visible just outside the building.” The next day James Brokenshire, then secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, told parliament: “Every death of someone sleeping rough on our streets is one too many. Each is a tragedy, each a life cut short. We have a moral duty to … [Read more...] about Gyula Remes died on parliament’s doorstep. Was the outcry of MPs just for show?