A little about me

I started this site in Early 2008, mostly to write about hobbies and days out. It’s seen a lot, including my 4 years living in Osaka.

As of 2023 I’m working on reviving the site and shifting the focus away from the purely Japan focused content.

Site history

Since launching in 2008, the site has undergone a number of design revisions:

V1 – 2008 – Nov 2009

As I had no prior experience with WordPress, I opted to use a pre-made theme – namely Daleri Dark by Andreas Viklund. I happily continued adding to this for some time, and elements including colour scheme and font continue to influence later designs.

V2 – Nov 2009 – 2011

The moment I finally stopped being lazy and made my own theme, first time the top-bar element was introduced. During this time the site went through a name change from “James’ Blog” to “Tubbygaijin.co.uk”

V3 – 2011 – 2012

A further improvement to V2, adding a slider to the homepage and excerpts to make sectional browsing easier.

V4 – 2012 – 2023

An evolution of V3. Much of the underlying code of the site hadn’t changed since 2008 meaning the site was heavily reliant on hacks and plugins. No more! A nice new slider system and native thumbnails and threaded comments should speed things up a bit. The colour scheme has gone a lot brighter compared to the muted, slightly mucky V3 and pages for the first time are presented on a white background for ease of reading.


  1. Adam Kerr, Jibun Mirai Associe (t/a "Nova")

    Dear Mr Brown:

    I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to send an email to the account listed on your Gaijinpot resume. I’d like to respond to your application for the position we’ve advertised as an English instructor, with a view to setting up an interview.

    Could you please write back to me at the address I’ve registered here?


    Adam Kerr

  2. Caroline

    Hi there,

    I’m writing from a television production company based in the UK. We’re currently making a series about international street food and are looking for food obsessives based in Osaka who could show our presenter around when we come out to film in February. I came across your burger quest so thought I’d get in touch! Even if this doesn’t sound like you I’d love to hear if you have any friends or contacts in Osaka who are food bloggers, food tour guides etc – essentially any English speakers who really have their finger on the pulse of the Osaka food scene.

    I look forward to hopefully hearing from you!

    All the best,


    • 08/01/2014

      Hi Caroline, this sounds great! I’m going to drop you an email shortly!

  3. 07/07/2014

    Hi James,

    Nice blog! I just watched some of your YouTube. All this makes me wanna go to Osaka for food and drink!

    • 16/07/2014

      Thanks, Sir! You definitely should, the food here is great, and pretty cheap!

  4. 28/09/2014

    Hi James,

    Given our common connection to Japan, I was wondering if I could provide you with a copy of my new book – American MaleWhore in Tokyo – and if you get some good laughs out of it, I’d be grateful for a shout out.

    It’s a juvenile/explicit comedy that sheds light on Japan and its culture in general as well as the dazzling yet seedy culture of host clubs.

    I’m sorry that this message is out of place here but unfortunately I couldn’t find any contact info for you. As I don’t want to be spammy, please delete this after you read it.

    And if you’re interested in taking me up on my offer or would like more info, please email me at john.box68@gmail.com

    John Box

  5. Joyce

    Dear James,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Osaka, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  6. 03/04/2015

    Dear James,

    As a regular visitor to Kyoto, I wonder if you would be interested in receiving a free review issue of the Deep Kyoto: Walks e-book for your blog? Deep Kyoto: Walks is an anthology of 18 meditative walks about Japan’s ancient capital by renowned Kyoto experts like Pico Iyer and Judith Clancy. More than a guide book, it is a rich and varied account of life lived in Kyoto by those who call it home. You can find out more about it here: http://www.deepkyoto.com/about-the-book/

    If you are interested and would like a free issue of the e-book, then send me your email address and I will get one to you right away.
    Best wishes,

    Michael Lambe

    (P.S. The e-book can be read on your smart phone, personal computer or on pretty much any kind of device)

  7. Joe Pinzone

    Hey James,

    My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Japan and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

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