Well, Faz and I arrived in Japan on Monday morning. Faz thinks I should get a certificate for managing so well on the flight. My first words as we took off were a whispered 'f"""ing helllllll! before I realised that it wasn't all that bad and that you had quite a nice view when the plane banked. I went a bit white when we first went through turbulence about 7 or 8 hours in - the sharp ups and downs were a bit too uppy and downy for my liking! The second time just annoyed me though seeing as I was trying to eat my breakfast. Faz kept trying to reassure me and I was protesting that I felt sick with English breakfast bouncing around in my stomach rather than fear. Sleeping on the flight was rather difficult, even with the 'go to sleep' meditataion audio playing.
When we arrived in Tokyo at 9 in the morning we were absolutely knackered and just wanted to get to John's and crash. The heat and humidity hit us as soon as we stepped off the plane. We managed to get the train to Yokohama thanks to a very nice man who spoke English who showed us where to stand on the platform. The train system is so organised here. Your ticket tells you which seat and carriage you are in, and there are markings on the platform which correspond to which carriage stops there so you wait in the right place on the platform. All the trains are incredibly punctual and all play a different tune when they arrive and depart. There are also red flashing lights along the platform which tell you when a train is about to arrive. We also discovered on the trains (after trying to get off at every stop) that the carriages all have electronic displays which show the train line, sections of which light up as the train progresses along it.
We finally arrived at John's at about midday and, after about 10 minutes to dump our stuff and say hi, were told we going back out into Tokyo for the day. We had some lunch in a ramen shop (noodle bar to you and me). The trains in Japan are all high above the ground and go over the shops rather than underneath like in London, and I think the ramen shop we ate in must have been right under the line because every time a train went overhead the whole shop shook and the glasses rattled (think Mary Poppins when the cannon goes off at the begining)!
After we had eaten lunch we walked about 5 minutes to Ueno Zoo, which is definately the best zoo I have been to. We saw pandas, tigers, gorillas, elephants and loads more animals and were really close to them all. We also saw a five-story pergola in the zoo where we had a little bit of a photoshoot with a certain scout network banner which came with us to Japan.
We finally got back to John's at about 7 in the evening after a VERY long day and I pretty much passed out on the sofa while Faz and John drank sake and watched the IT crowd. When we went to bed we all, unsurprisingly, slept pretty soundly!