Gulp. I’m out on my own now, in this totally alien country.

I sit on a train, quite a quick train, but not the quickest! That’s a more expensive ticket. Again, the only westerner. Chatting to head gardener, Andy earlier, I learnt he’s the only westerner in the area in which he lives!

I sit back, with equally mixed feelings of pride, fear and excitement! We pass rice fields, turning their gorgeous autumn hue (pee yellow!). Some have been harvested, so clumps hang upside down, just as photogenically, on stands across each field.

We also pass Japanese towns and villages, kids leaving school in their huddles, some of them wearing germ masks. I’ve eaten a wrap containing a kebab like meat, and a block of rice wrapped in sushi, with some very well
hidden fish eggs. I drank my favourite corn tea.

The carriage is so quiet; there are no hen do’s, yappering businessmen, no giggling children…! A lady to my left has spent quite a while tipping eye drops into her eyes, and is now beneath a blanket. She must be in for the long haul too. We were heading to Tokyo. 2 more hours.

I sat semi rigidly, not quite relaxing. What if the train didn’t stop? What if it’s the wrong train? What if my ticket isn’t right? … and other such silly thoughts! I also thought I needed a wee, so thought about needing a wee, then I had a wee. I’m sure you know the nervous drill!

But, no need really. Navigation was easy, and – SHOCK HORROR- places weren’t as busy as I thought, and I was arriving into Tokyo City during rush hour…! I think sometimes we can imagine something so different to reality, yet when faced with it, it was just Liverpool Street with 99.9% Asians.

I changed train successfully, with my big black luggage case, super full backpack AND, now loose, camera AND wash bag. I have got to address this over-full case issue, maybe I need to eat and drink all the gifts I’ve been given. You’ll soon find me in a Sake and candy-induced coma in Tokyo. Or, I will throw my loafers out, and my plimsolls.

I alighted at Tokyo Central station, again not terribly busy (was I missing something??) and paid tight attention to all the signs. I needed Yaesu Central exit, and I got it! I then had a little map to get to the hotel, but I stayed by the big printed map at the station until I was trebly sure of the way. After all, I was heavily laden with an inside-out suitcase!

Alas, my orienteering skills were second to none, and I found the “super hotel” swiftly. It’s very different to the countryside hotel of Tateshina! This is the city now.

My room is equally as small, but a tiny bit plush! I tripped over the slippers by the mat and dumped my stuff on the bed. That’s where I still am. On the bed.

Christ, I’m in Tokyo!! And tomorrow, I go to Kyoto, just for the day. To see Hydrangeas…. The next breeding stages from Miss Saori. OMG. Wow!!! I am here, in Japan, I am visiting a hydrangea breeder.

Now having a picnic on my bed now, just letting myself come to terms with my own senses, and realise how amazing my trip has been so far!! I am back to Tokyo at the weekend for 3 days, so I’m tempted to just stay in my room and digest everything from the last week. Would that be an awful thing to do?? Female sumo wrestle just came on the TV.

2014-09-24 08.18.50 2014-09-24 07.23.17 2014-09-24 06.24.55 2014-09-23 23.13.04

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