We’re here! I sure am a Japan fan. From the train rides to the airport Japan just rules. Although the overnight flight was exhausting and I suffered from some serious Jetlag it was all worth the effort. The noodles and sushis are delicious, the english speakers are friendly and the bowing? It is not like Britain at all! On the train to Kyoto (unfortunately not a Shinkansen!) the beautiful sights of the rice in neat rows greeted my eyes. The flat land is very claustrophobic due to the fact that the paddy fields take up most of the space. Today we are going to look at the temples. Boy, oh, boy, I wonder what awaits me!
Yesterday we had our first Japanese meal out. We had been wondering how we’d get on communicating. At the fast food restaurant we visited they had a clever solution. There was a huge vending machine with pictures of the food. You make your selection and get a voucher which you hand over at the counter. Minutes later later we received huge bowls of steaming beef udon. Delicious!
Its 03.20 local time and we’ve all woken up after 10 hours of being totally deeply asleep! Thought I would tell you about our Japanese style hotel room. It has tatami matting on the floor and you take your shoes off as you enter. The beds are roll up mattresses that you unroll at night – they are supremely comfortable!
The biggest surprise is the high tech toilet. When you open the door to the bathroom the lid rises up spontaneously, a small spray of water freshens the toilet bowl and a green light illuminates the area so you can see where to aim! The toilet seat is heated to avoid the problem of cold buttocks (unlikely currently as the temp is about 20C even in the middle of the night)
We’ve made it to Japan, but we’re totally wiped out. We got up at 0430 to leave Oxford and finally arrived in Osaka at 0900 the next day. But our body clocks said 0100. The girls got some sleep by lying down with their legs up on ours. I dozed off until I got a kick in the groin somewhere over Siberia. To make it all seem a little more odd there were quite a few Korean football fans cheering their team in the bar in Helsinki where we changed planes.
Anyway, we’ve been out for some noodles and made it to 1600. I think we’ll crash out shortly.
First things I noticed about Japan? Well I was surprised by the small paddy fields squeezed here and there between houses, car parks and roads. Almost like wet allotments! Speaking of wet, it is raining. But then they say June is the wet season, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Everyone has a clear plastic umbrella. Even people riding bikes.