I’m not the world’s biggest sushi fan, but I couldn’t leave Tokyo without trying some. It was probably the best sushi I’ve ever had though, again, that’s not saying a huge amount. Great ambience though.
There’s around eleven hours left to me before the land and sea odyssey that has brought me from London to Tokyo comes to an end and I take to the air, crossing the Pacific from Narita Airport to LAX. From one continent to another, an eleven-hour flight that crosses purposes with the sixteen-hour time difference between where I take off and where I land. For Phileas Fogg, unaware of what he was doing, it was all about earning an extra day to win his wager. For me, I suspect it will feel an awful lot like theft: an entire night foreshortened and left orphaned, forcing me to deal with Friday afternoon all over again.
Then again, one Friday afternoon in Tokyo, the next (or the same one again) in California. Not so bad, really.
Japan has been quite incredible, and I did no more than cut a path across its heart, from the temple-strewn Kyoto and Nara to the hypermodern Tokyo, where touches of old Japan are preserved but mostly kept away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There’s a lot more to the country than that, from chilly Hokkaido in the north, with the last remnants of the indigenous Ainu people and some fine skiing country, to the subtropical islands of the south, where you really can get away from it all. In one week, I saw some cities and glimpsed the countryside, and what it has done is give me a taste for more. I will be back some day.
For now though, a last few hours to swing around some museums and shops, to see a few things I didn’t want to miss before I went. Neon glamour and fascinating side streets; time to put them in the past for now.