Day -1: What Time Does Heathrow Airport Open?

As I am sure anyone who has spent more than 2 minutes with me in the last 12 months is aware, we’re off to Japan.

It is somewhere that I’ve always wanted to visit and now seems the perfect opportunity. My daughter is old enough to appreciate what I think will be an incredible country and it fits in well with her schooling. Any later in her time at secondary school and we start to impinge on the cycle of exams.

Fortuitously, it all coincides with the cherry blossom season, which I hope will enhance the beauty but will play havoc with our hay fever and wallets. Accommodation is eye-wateringly expensive, partly driven by staying in a few hotels in the upper price bracket but mostly by the coincidence of us hitting in a peak season, which ties in with the Easter holidays in the UK.

The trip is solely on the island of Honshu, literally Japan’s “Main Island”. It is the largest and most populous island and contains most of the cities that people will be familiar with – Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima etc plus Mount Fuji.

We are starting in Tokyo, heading down to Kyoto via Mount Fuji and then on to the art island at Naoshima before returning to Tokyo in just under 3 weeks. Travelling will be by train (well what else do you expect in Japan?) and we’ll take in some stops along the way, spending a little bit of time in Osaka and Nara.

We’ve done our research via such resources as this one and this one as to the quirks of Japanese etiquette. Avoiding social embarassment seems to be our primary goal, with particular reference to my habit of blowing my nose loudly, using the toilet correctly and standing in the right place on the platform when waiting for the bullet train.

So rather than clog up BlackCountryRock with trip related stuff, I thought I would start something up which is separate for the trip. I’ll try and not bog the blog down with “we are at the airport” or “we are in duty free” type stuff – I’m sure you’ve experienced the joy of air travel on many occasions.

Let’s see how it goes.

Sayonara for now…..

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