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July 9, 2004


The Travel Channel

JAL-747.jpgFinally home!
After a way to early awakening, a 12 hour flight from Narita to Frankfurt, 3 more hours to Oslo and another 2 hours to Harstad I've finally arrived at home.
Spending the last hours in Tokyo repacking our stuff, getting barely 6 hours of sleep and then travelling for more than 20 hours is quite exhausting. And due to jetlag I still couldn't sleep any more than 6 hours last night! *yawn*
It's all a lot of work and one suitcase is still at Gardemoen, and a big box with some stuff is left in Brisbane, which Carina will send to me when she returns there, so it will be quite a while until I have all my stuff safely in hand.

The week in Japan was quite amazing, and it gave me a whole new outlook on the country. I had expected it to be a bit like Singapore, clean and friendly but even more high-tech and efficient, but the reality was far from that. Most of Tokyo appeared like parts of Bangkok, beeing dirty and smelly with homeless people around. Even inside large railway-stations and fancy shopping malls you often was met with the stench of sewer, and the streets were worn and dirty, but not littered despite the lack of garbage-cans. Taxis had fancy GPS navigation systems, but were otherwise relatively old and worn cars. Internet-cafès were almost non-existant, and while beeing eager to help the Japanese were extremely bad in english and difficult to understand. Trains were the only place were Japan fully lived up to its reputation. They were fast, on-time, clean, and efficient with most signs and boards switching between English and Japanese. Also the mobile-networks were probably very good as we saw lots of people playing with their phones on trains and platforms, but as the networks are not compatible with GSM we didn't have a chance to try them out.

Because of our short stay and other reasons some of what I had planned to do in Japan had to be postponed. Amongst the things I want to do during my next visit to Japan are the following:

  • Climb Mt. Fuji at night to see the sunrise from the top
  • Visit the Kobe and Hokkaido areas.
  • Try out Tokyo's nightlife in the Roppongi area
  • Spend more time at Electric Town, Akihabara.
  • Drink Sake, eat Sushi and bring home some good soy-sauce.

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