Welcome to Part One of my Japanese Adventure! Konnichiwa!
This was the first time I was ever going to Asia and I was so excited for this trip because I had been saving and keeping money aside for it for over 8 years and the wait definitely was worth it. This journey was one of the to do things on my list that I was going to check off and I was so excited to finally go across the planet and see Japan up close. I’ll admit that I am an Anime and Manga fan, not an obsessive one but I did first watch it when I was 5! Cardcaptor Sakura on CITV! My reasons for seeing this wonderful culture was
- The Culture
- The Cities
- The Food
- Anime (I’ll be honest)
- Bullet Train!
As someone who has Autism, I was excited, yet utterly terrified at the same time to go so far away from home, yet I knew I would be fine as I had my partner with me but I was worried about a meltdown if anything went wrong or if we got lost or couldn’t ask for anything in Japanese but I had to at least try, as it was a dream of mine to go, I couldn’t let nerves get the best of me!
This is the story of one of the most craziest adventures I have ever been a part of and if I were asked to do it again…I would definitely do it…even if certain parts of it were so annoying to me that I would quite easily tear my hair out and become a monk! Before we left, we made sure that we had enough Yen and we also got ourselves train passes so we could use the train services across the entire country! Minus the subways but BULLET TRAINS!
Proposing to Emma was the greatest moment of my life, not just because it meant I was going to marry my soulmate but it was also my ticket to Japan! She gets to see Tokyo’s Disney Land and I get everything else which she was also excited about and before the end of our journey, she would have a new found love for Japan for many reasons!
Along our journey, we come across
- Winnie The Pooh in an awkward position
- Being on a train that splits apart
- My wife gets attacked by Deer
- Misleading signs for Over 18’s!
- I dress up as a Cat in a Maid Cafe in Akihabara
- And much more!
As with most adventures, you have a beginning and our begins in August, three days after we were married and the start of this one is NOT in Japan but rather thousands of miles away west in London. Why here you ask, why don’t I just get to our first day in Tokyo? Simple really because going to Japan was part of my honeymoon as I had only just gotten married and we had agreed some time ago that we would travel there for a couple of weeks but we also decided to spend a couple of days in London beforehand. This was part of my honeymoon so I’m including it because it meant a lot to me.
I was happy to include London into our honeymoon as well as it was another city to explore and it gave us an easy start as it was familiar, we understood the currency, language and we could settle after the busiest day of our lives, instead of having to do that in Tokyo as was self evident when we went to a Burger King as my wife…got a little angry at the man serving us, she was a bit snappy as he forget one of her food items on the bill and I had to apologise for her…oh well, better before we got to Japan I say! Wicked calmed her down the next day and by the time we were ready to go, we were both relaxed and eager to explore a country we had never visited before.
After enjoying a musical, exploring many ancient treasures and seeing my favourite football teams stadium, our proper journey finally began as we left our hotel in Kensington and boarded the London Underground towards Heathrow Airport, now I mention this part because of what a massive head ache the experience was…well taking two giant suitcases on a tightly packed train that stops every two minutes and no one talks to anyone else is just a joy to behold…great atmosphere when your about to go away on an adventure! The train ride took about an hour and we were stood up or we learnt on our suitcases the entire time! Part of me was wishing that we had just got a taxi instead! You get what you pay for sometimes I guess!
The next issue was once we arrived at the airport and the issue in question was checking in. Now it wasn’t a lack of paper work, more that it was a technology backtrack that was causing me a headache as you can scan your passports now that sign you in….if it works that is! I get that many people don’t like to wait in a long queue and that we have to move with the times and all that but what’s the point if the bloody thing isn’t working and you just send me over to the person behind the desk that already has a queue anyway? Just wasting more of my time, at least the lady at the desk got us checked in and was polite about the whole ordeal!
I know that many people have a fiasco by just going to the airport but this was the most chaotic one I have ever experienced. I from the top part of England and had come all the way down to fly from London to Japan and the train from Leeds to London was a lot less stressful than one train ride on the London Underground….you feel more like a human being on a train out of London than in it weirdly enough….it’s like everyone’s too paranoid to speak to one another! I said hello to a couple of people and they looked at me like I had the plague, yet I can talk to an American couple visiting the city like we’d known each other for years…what’s going on London?
I had calmed down as we sat down and had some food to eat, I mean you have to kill 3 hours of time somehow, although I was checked at the security gate because a 5p coin was in my pocket….had to take my shoes off and everything as Emma laughed at me but they can’t take any chances, I understand that! Just weird how everyone looks at you as they check you out from head to toe. We start talking about what we were going to do once we arrived into Tokyo and I had so many ideas running through my head, Emma just wanted to see Disney straight away which made me laugh, we both had our own ideas of how to enjoy the two weeks but remembered that it was our honeymoon, we couldn’t wait to set off.
To be honest, just by going to the Airport from the hotel felt like a long haul flight! I couldn’t imagine what 12 hours up in the air was going to do to me and we weren’t even going all the way to Japan as we had to stop off in South Korea before boarding another flight the rest of the way, so even though I knew it was going to be an extremely long flight, I decided to not be mad about it because it was a night flight and we would be asleep for a lot of it! Or so I thought!
So that’s the end of Part One and we haven’t reached Japan yet but we will and I can’t wait to share my experiences over there with you.
See you for Part 2