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Unread 24 Nov 17, 07:49 PM  
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kevin_cambs_uk
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Join Date: Oct 12
A Trainspotter in Japan - The Return - Part 15 - Going home and final thougths

Well its time to go home. We completed the packing and went to reception to hand in the key cards. We were asked if we wanted to pay upon arrival, which we did as then it was done. I had enquired about a taxi to the station, and they said there will always be one at the main entrance. We made our way down and true to their word there was taxi already waiting.

The driver was super helpful, and ushered us into the car while he packed the cases. On our last day it was pouring down. The hotel had given me a pre printed slip which explained our destination to the driver in both English and Japanese. We arrived soon enough and proceeded to make our way to the Narita Express platform. I deliberately chose the earlier train in case anything goes wrong and we miss it. We still then have another one to get and not miss the flight.

Could not find a route to the Narita Express Platform, we kept following the signs but the only route we could decipher was via the escalator. It was packed at 8 am in the morning and were loaded with luggage, I needed the lift. Round and round we kept going... After 40 minutes, I parked the wife in the middle of the station near a sign, and put her out of the way with the luggage while I went to see what's what, dragging the luggage around was getting us no where.

Next to the escalator, there was a gate, with a staff member. I explained I was after Narita Express, and in lovely English he explained how to get there via the lift with a map. What a legend!

Platform found with 10 minutes to spare. I should have checked before today...

It was still raining, as we got to the airport. We checked in , BA don't seemed bothered by how much stuff you have, which is great for me!

On the airside, we got ourselves a coffee and the compulsory Tokyo Banana confectionery, plus some other bits. The wife got an Anello ruck sack. We proceeded to the gate, and sat ourselves down. It was here that the wife turned to me and said 'Its started already'

What she meant was that as the majority of people here were not Japanese, it was noisy, people left luggage in the aisle, litter was left behind as we boarded. People blocked the aisle with their crossed legs and when you went to walk there they did not move. We were leaving consideration and politeness behind.

Our plane landed, the Dreamliner, and was turned around.




Meanwhile a Japan Airlines was departing. The ground staff walked the plane out to the edge of the apron, as it left they all waved goodbye and bowed. It was torrential rain, and yet they showed such respect.



We boarded, I was unable to get the 2 seats at the back of the plane, so settled for for the back row of three, but on our back row of three, the seat next to me was empty anyway! So that was much better. Off we went back to Britain.

I have started to make a list for next time already!

Cooking lesson
Dotonbori at night
Osaka castle in the dry
Haneda monorail
Mount Fuji
Hakone
Ryokan
Onsen
Volcano visit
Tokyo Museum
Roppongi Tower
E6 Shinkansen
The hanging from the air train!
Maglev Museum
Nagoya Train Museum
Miyajima and the Tori Gate
Geisha district Kyoto
Kyoto in general
Nagasaki
Shinjuku National Garden
Ebisu Brewery
Yokohama China Town
Aomori
Universal Studios

Last word...


Well what can I say, but going back was just as good as going for the first time. I thought I may be a bit disappointed, but far from it. All of the country, its people, its culture, train system again were beyond my expectations. As I said before, I really fit in. I notice things that most would just walk by. I like that fact that everyone does the right thing, adheres to the rules, pays respect.

Hokkaido and Kanazawa were particular highlights. By the end of the holiday, we were starting to be able to understand the Japanese rail announcements, and read a few of the characters, which was great, plus I finally twigged that all the train signs are in 3 alphabets as well, Kanji, Hiragana and English, so that's a positive as well.

When will we go back? For me it's 2021 at the moment. I have promised the wife a new kitchen in March 2018, plus I said I would redecorate the entire house, new flooring, carpets and furniture. So were in the process of doing all of that now. I will start ripping the old kitchen out in February. As a result, we will return to WDW, I already had a 2 day, Wilderness Lodge, and 7 days at the Contemporary booked before we went to Japan, by no means a bad holiday, but it takes no planning.

2019, I think we had talked about Norway, Sweden etc, and 2020 we are going to WDW with friends. So as long as the wife don't read this, Norway could become Japan!

So there you have it, 15 days of fantastic Japan! Its fair to say I love the country, and since I have been back I have cheekily been looking at how you could live there!, but that wont happen, but it is interesting non the less.

Again, thanks for reading and many thanks to those who have commented. Trip reports do take a long time to do so its appreciated that people find them useful, plus its been good to get it all out of my head.

Arigatogozaimashita!
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1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge

Edited at 08:01 PM.
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 08:33 PM  
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Rae21
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Brilliant trip report! Found it really useful for ideas when we go in July, and has helped put my mind at ease about getting around with me knowing very very little Japanese (am trying to learn)

Thanks for taking the time to do this much appreciated
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 08:35 PM  
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kevin_cambs_uk
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Originally Posted by Rae21 View Post
Brilliant trip report! Found it really useful for ideas when we go in July, and has helped put my mind at ease about getting around with me knowing very very little Japanese (am trying to learn)

Thanks for taking the time to do this much appreciated
You are most welcome
Any questions about japan just ask!
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1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 10:11 PM  
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Melbatb
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Thanks Kevin for taking the time to write up the report and for sharing your trip with us! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 10:11 PM  
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Dissie
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I have loved your report so thank you for taking the time to do. I really think I would love Japan for its culture, organisation, respectfulness/politeness. The only think I am not sure about is their food though I am sure I would find a few things I like.

Sad you have finished it so once again thank you
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 10:15 PM  
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#6
kevin_cambs_uk
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Join Date: Oct 12
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Originally Posted by Dissie View Post
I have loved your report so thank you for taking the time to do. I really think I would love Japan for its culture, organisation, respectfulness/politeness. The only think I am not sure about is their food though I am sure I would find a few things I like.

Sad you have finished it so once again thank you
It is a bit sad but not the end!

Going back is a definite

Thanks for reading.

Kev
__________________
1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 10:16 PM  
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#7
kevin_cambs_uk
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Join Date: Oct 12
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Thanks Kevin for taking the time to write up the report and for sharing your trip with us! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
As ever thanks melbatb!
I remember you reading last years and looking forward to the next one!
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1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge
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Unread 24 Nov 17, 11:26 PM  
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Nesbits
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Really interesting, thank you.
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