Mind you, this is bound to go out the window the moment I land.
16th: Flying, sleeping from all-nighter the night before, I hope.
17th: Arrive in Narita, apparently at 8:00. The airline has clearly vastly overestimated the time it will take to fly from London to Paris (it doesn’t take that long by train, I don’t think!). Hopefully they’ve also overestimated the Paris to Narita time, though I suspect not XD. Anyway, get checked in at the first hotel, then just have an explore. Hopefully I’ll manage the Cookie Monster antique shop, and also the wierd “temple” beneath Tokyo Tower. Though apparently it’s the HQ of the poison gas nutters, so it might be a quick photo through the gate and leg it situation.
There it is
Also get a snap of Senso-Ji without scaffolding around it, have sushi at the restaurant where I first had sushi (and take a picture of it for posterity). And then maybe visit the shopping centre that Danny Choo goes on about XD.
18th: Jinbocho! Manga no Meiji to Taisho jidai de urimasu ka? Will no doubt be asked a lot. After that, perhaps Nakano Broadway, though probably only a quick visit. Also possibly Lalaport shopping complex, because I had great Chinese there once. Also looking for the new book(s) about Maru, the crazy box-sliding cat on Youtube.
19th: Yokohama! The Mikasa will be a must. I expect that to be the highlight of my trip, actually. I love boys’ own adventure stories, especially war stories, from the late 19th and early 20th century. The Mikasa is the only warship preserved from that era, and it will be great to really get a feel for what the sailors in those ships experienced. Also gonna go up the Landmark tower during the day and watch the sun set. Oh and try to find the location of a 1930’s photo I have, to see how it’s changed.
That 1930’s photo
20th: The Yasukuni Shrine, dedicated to dead Japanese soldiers. Mainly for the museum, which has an original Zero and a full-size replica of an Ohka rocket attack plane. Though of course I’ll mainly be going for items from the wee scrap of 1904-5. Wonder how much World War 1 will be mentioned, too. After that perhaps Ikebukuro, for “interesting comics” and also for a British pub, which is located inside an underground tunnel in the station!
21st: Akihabara, though not for long. Shinjuku, to find a Cat Cafe which was in a photo Danny Choo recently posted. In which I placed a tag promising to touch a certain cat’s nose. Then to the Sky Tree to watch the sunset from it. Oh and a beer in the Asahi beer hall… if I don’t do that on the day I visit Senso-Ji. I’m going off Super Dry, actually. Kirin is better! Also, collect my 7-day Japan Rail Pass. I’ll never spend what the 14-day one costs on train tickets, but the 7-day one on the eve of my big journey across the country will be just about cheaper than buying the tickets at the stations. Also I don’t know what my fiend in Kochi has in store for me, that might involve trains too.
22nd: Get the bullet train from Tokyo (take a snap of the station from the same position as a 1930’s photo I have, if possible) to Kyoto.
Seems like the ones you can use the pass on take just under 3 hours… which is nothing, considering the distance! Check into Kyoto hotel. Find the Golden Pavillion, if it’s not too far out of the town. Take a photo from the same position as a 1906 photo I have, if possible.
23rd: International Manga Museum.
24th: Travel to Kochi, on Shikoku. Then according to my friend, “sleep off the journey”. She’s proper gone native, if she thinks Japanese train trips are stressful! Then visit the “Sanctuary Bar”, which she appears to virtually live in. Hope it’s not some gaijin bubble place full of whinging yanks. Or if it is, I hope I spot a grotty pub with a local metal gig going on!
25th: Kochi… something. Museum, castle? I’ll let my friend take the lead. INB4 “Sanctuary Bar, drink ourselves sick”.
26th: Travel to Narita, in 150mph, air conditioned comfort, in probably about 7 hours total. Could you imagine going from the Isle of Wight to, say, Leeds airport (judging distance, not importance), so easily? Well not really, as you have to sail to Southampton, for a start… Check into Narita hotel, sleep, no doubt.
27th: Look around Narita. Apparently it has a castle and museum. Look out for anybody wearing a Download Festival T-shirt and shout “Plaaane!” when one flies over and they are within earshot. As unlikely as such a proceeding will be.
28th: Get the plane back to Amsterdam, then home. Then sleep, all on the ‘same day’!