Friday, April 22, 2011


Firstly, I have to say that the Web access is not always want you want on a long trip down to the country.  Whereas in a large City like Tokyo "no Wi Fi" would mean that someone would be going crazy trying to fix it, and no doubt end up commiting sepuku.  In a little place like Nio there's not a lot of urgency with these things. Therefore I have a lot of blog postings to catch up with, and over the next few days I'll try and get them all done.

Yesterday was the end of my Japanese jaunt.  It was a long day as we had traveled 500 miles further on and that had to be eaten up first before getting on Singapore Airlines flight SQ 12 back to LAX.  So I left the boat at 9 a.m. and took a taxi to the first of two suburban stations, and caught the first of three trains.  At Okayama we caught the Shinkansen - the bullet train.  The little man on the right was concerned at my proximity to the "engine" as it came in.

The Shinkansen Train

I first traveled on this wonderfully smooth train back in 1975 and it's still an impressive ride.

Attendants walking through the train always bow when they enter each car and leave, even though nobody's paying attention

Girls also push trolleys up and down the aisles on the three and a half-hour journey to Tokyo.  They sell coffee and other beverages and delicious snacks.  It's all very civilised.  I also think it's quite expensive, but my dear daughter-in-law was in charge of my last leg and she handled the affairs.  It's like being a child all over again and not being in control of one's situation.

The attendants also wait politely at the entrance to each car and of course, bow as you embark.  The one on the right is so doing.

The train was about ten minutes late but it was made up by the time we reached our destination.  Here I was put on the Friendly Limousine Bus to Narita Airport, and I'm sure Eiko must have breathed a sigh of relief as she had finally delivered "the package" out of her care.

The flight to LAX had a few nasty moments of very bad turbulence as Mother Nature decided she wasn't quite done with me.  When we arrived we had that extra little delight that can sometimes happen.  A crammed airport bus to take you to the terminal building.  Always a joy, and one I haven't experienced in a long time.

Iris kindly collected me and took me to my car, and after the usual stimulating and competitive bout with LA traffic I arrived home at 4 p.m. - a journey of 23 hours.  (A boat, a taxi, three trains, a bus, a plane, an airport bus - possibly the best part! And a car ride!) It was the end of quite an adventure and I was glad to be back to family and home once again. As I came through the door, Matt Kemp hit a walk off two-run homer to beat Atlanta 5 to 3 in the bottom of the 12th!  Fantastic!

Yes, I did have a shower and go down for a pint that evening!  Well, you've got to haven't you!

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