20 Mar
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
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Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (49 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

3 November 2015

Touchdown in Japan

3 October 2015

So we’ve landed in Japan, Osaka airport. And after a huge long day of travel, including our first experience of Japanese trains to get us to Kyoto, I’ve only got the energy to offer up a few first impressions…

  • They love using cartoon characters here, on everything from signs on loo seats to warnings at train stations. The cartoon characters aren’t always there to play a role or make a point; they just seem to be added at random to jolly things up
  • It’s exactly as you’ve read: everyone stops and says “hello!” when you walk into a shop or restaurant, and “thank you” when you leave (accompanied by a bow)
  • They like their own space; even in a big city like Kyoto, the houses we passed were all detached. Of course apartment blocks exist, but where folk get chance to build a property they’ll take a six inch gap over a party wall every time
  • I’m going to enjoy the food in Japan, from Michelin-starred to cheap-and-cheerful

Our first dinner was cheap-and-cheerful, an okonomiyaki beside a little river. Okonomiyaki is a kind of sleazy pancake concoction, kept hot by being served on a sizzling hotplate in the middle of the table. Mine included a mixture of sticky beef tendon and cabbage, absolutely delicious with the spicy sauce. But ouch… this was our first experience of the low Japanese dining table. It has been many years since I’ve sat cross-legged for over an hour! And perhaps longer (or never?) that I’ve had to do so while bending forward to eat with chopsticks! Everything hurts. Bed.



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