Hello and Konnichiwa こんばんは
Welcome to the last chapter of my journey to Japan, which took 27 Chapters but I did that much stuff I didn’t want to do MASSIVE blogs and squeeze it all into say 5 or 6 chapters, that’s not how I do things here! Hope you enjoy…even though the last chapter is a painful one for me because even though I leave Japan for home…it takes an eternity to get back.
Click here to see every chapter of the series of To The Land Of The Rising Sun
We left our hotel at 5:15 am Japan time, very early but we had an early flight to South Korea. We set off from Narita Airport, Japan around 9 am, flying back home after a amazing 2 weeks in the Land of the rising sun! We had a short flight to South Korea first….read here and see why I wasn’t that excited about sitting at Incheon Airport! the time slowly passed by and we pretty much wandered up and down the shops and got drinks before finally boarding our flight to London which was meant to be at half 11 am…which was delayed by a few hours…because of a air zone issue in China, so we had to sit and wait for nearly 4 hours! At least I had a giant Pikachu with me this time! We departed South Korea around half 3 pm.
Most of our flight was flying over Russia before crossing over the northern part of Europe such as Scandinavia before flying down from the North of England towards Heathrow…the plane was nice and all with the constant meals, drinks and plenty of movies to watch etc but after 2 long weeks, we were exhausted and a few days of recuperation on familiar territory was in order, even though given the option, we’d have gone back to Japan! Easily!
Constant turbulence over Russia slowed our flight down and our landing time got delayed more and more…which was bad for us because before we left to go to Japan, we had booked train tickets to and from London so we could get home because we would be travelling in the middle of the night from the south to the north! It was a gamble with our train because the original plan was to use the London Underground to get to King Cross Station which takes just under an hour from Heathrow but you have to go to the bottom level with massive suitcases after collecting them in the first place…after going through security checks! Needless to say the odds weren’t in our favour!
About 11 Hours later and we approach London, a huge step of our journey over and we were back in our part of the world but we had to circle London 3 times before landing and it was at this moment that we knew that we were going to miss our scheduled train! It was a crushing blow but we were still going to give it a British try and not give up until it was clear that it wasn’t happening!
On the ground, we dashed through the crowds towards Passport checks etc and got through quite quickly, even if we spent the entire time arguing because Emma said I was going to fast for her….we made up and I understood but we had to try and make it! Grabbing our luggage which…took a teeny bit, we headed down towards the train station but we then see a woman selling tickets for a fast train to London at 22 quid each…I know what your thinking and I wish I had done otherwise but we were desperate as we had 50 minutes until our train left King Cross Station and the train only took 15 minutes to get to London so we bought the tickets and boarded the train and it was here, as the doors closed that I realised the error we had made….you see the train went to London…London Paddington which was 3 miles away from King Cross!
Time had run out, our train would have departed and we were only 3 miles away so our only choice was to get the next train as 2 more were going North before the next day so we would have to see what happens! Luckily for us though, we found another passenger who was in the same situation as we were in, he had missed the same train, so we all got a taxi to King Cross and he even paid…very kind, we offered multiple times but he refused, he was just happy with the company!
We had a 2 hour wait until the next train just before midnight which in Japan would be 26 hours since we began our journey! We made calls to family and such to let them know we were back in the country and such, it was good to hear their voices once more. Japan was very friendly but we didn’t know anyone there so it was nice to talk to people we knew well again!
Our train finally departed but GUESS WHAT? Our conductor understood our situation and let us on the train…also told us that a cable had fallen up North at between Retford and Doncaster, meaning that we had to take a very long detour to get to South Yorkshire before we could finally get to Leeds so we rang up our taxi waiting for us up there to let them know about the delay. Our train journey took 4 and a half hours when it normally took about 2 hours so you can imagine…I’m quite mad right now…mostly because I’m very tired, it had been 30 plus hours being awake! The staff were friendly which was good and it was very weird travelling through England in the middle of the night…it all look deserted…every station like a ghost town…bit creepy to be honest at this time of night, with only the orange glow of the station lamps on.
Finally, we arrived into Leeds after 3am and we found our taxi and within an hour later, we were finally back home…a sight that nearly made us cry…after everything we had gone through to just get here…I had never stayed awake this long in my life and I don’t really want to again!
So we set off from our hotel at 5:15 am and arrived at our house about quarter past 4 am so by taking time zones into consideration, it would have been lunch time in Japan a day later It took us over 30 hours, about 32 hours to get from our hotel in Kyoto, Japan to our house in England…that includes waiting times, flying on 2 flights, getting through London and the extremely delayed train North to Leeds! which is 5,793 miles altogether! That’s a lot of miles to cover but it shouldn’t have taken as long as it did…weirdly enough, I stayed awake for 30 hours straight…I tried to get some sleep but the passenger next to me is such a loud snorer and he took up all the leg room…as he had a nap! I’m not mad, just typical that’s all…it’s all part of the experience.
Just saying…England to Japan- No delays
Japan to England- SO MANY DELAYS!
Would I do it all again if I could go to Japan one more time…..YES!
Arigatou gozaimasu! ありがとうございます