Japan Part Four: Hokkaido and Tokyo (3rd – 12th November 2019)

Hokkaido As we headed for Japan’s Northern island, we were on our own, with no more Servas members available to host us. It had been an absolute marvel being hosted, both financially and culturally. We learned an enormous amount from our hosts, and our time in Japan was all the richer for it. However, onContinue reading “Japan Part Four: Hokkaido and Tokyo (3rd – 12th November 2019)”

Japan Part Three – Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and the  Japanese Alps (24th October – 3rd November 2019)

Osaka Three trains after Hiroshima, thanks to the miracle that is Japan’s rail network, we were deposited in darkening streets 500m from our hotel in a downtown area of Osaka. It was clear when we arrived that our accommodation used to be one of ‘those’ hotels, but that they were now trying to go forContinue reading “Japan Part Three – Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and the  Japanese Alps (24th October – 3rd November 2019)”

Japan Part Two: Bunny Island, Miyajima and Hiroshima (October 21st – 24th 2019)

On the 21st we woke early to get to Okunishima as soon as possible, which will be known as Bunny Island for the rest of this post. We caught our first bullet train: a spectacular affair with more leg room than UK first class trains, and comfy reclining seats, which can be rotated at theContinue reading “Japan Part Two: Bunny Island, Miyajima and Hiroshima (October 21st – 24th 2019)”

Japan Part One: Tokyo, Fujisawa and Mount Fuji (October 15th – 21st 2019)

Within 60 minutes of arriving in Japan we’d both been told off by an escalator and given a surprisingly thorough and not entirely consensual douche by a robot toilet. And it was only going to get weirder as time went on, from bed-shaking earthquakes and steaming volcanoes, to the many awful versions of Last ChristmasContinue reading “Japan Part One: Tokyo, Fujisawa and Mount Fuji (October 15th – 21st 2019)”

China part 4: Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, 30th August – 11th September

Chengdu After so long in the high altitude plains of Tibet, where eagles soared and the smell of yak butter wafted in the air, arriving at the bus station in the city of Chengdu and being immediately assailed by taxi drivers was a bit of a shock. We had to fight our way through aContinue reading “China part 4: Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, 30th August – 11th September”

China part 3: Amdo Tibet: 21st-31st August

During our stay in Jiayaguan, we’d contacted a few travel agents about visiting the Tibetan Autonomous Region. We knew this would involve permits and joining an organised tour, as it is not permitted for foreigners to visit this region otherwise. Unfortunately, this proved to be too expensive and time-consuming for us to arrange, so weContinue reading “China part 3: Amdo Tibet: 21st-31st August”

China Part 2: Zhangye & Jiayaguan: 14th – 21st August

Zhangye Our train from the South to the North of China was due to take about 40 hours and cover two full nights. The first night we were just so happy to be out of Liuzhou railway station and able to get some sleep that we almost immediately crashed out in our beds. The trainContinue reading “China Part 2: Zhangye & Jiayaguan: 14th – 21st August”