So it was all a bit last minute and very short notice, but I’m now in Japan till the 5th of April!!!
What am I doing here?
Well until the end of March I’m staying in Otsu, just 10 minutes outside of Kyoto. In that time I’m helping to renovate a traditional Japanese guesthouse and will be helping take some free style speaking English classes. After March I’ll be staying in the region to explore until the 5th of April when I’ll fly back to London in time for Rezzed!
Before flying out I got to spend the evening out for a couple of drinks with a really great friend of mine, who I’m really missing and looking forward to seeing when I get back. I then ended up heading for Heathrow at around 6.30am, to get there in time for the first stage of my journey which was a quick hop over the channel into Paris, before jetting off two hours later bound for Osaka. The Heathrow section was easy enough, did get stopped at the random security scan, but no real problems. Had time for a deccent coffee & bacon sarnie, pinged off a few last minute tweets and a few messages to my friend.
Close calls and disappointment in Paris!
I had booked to fly with Air France for the whole trip, it was a great deal around £512 return. I ended up seated to a guy from Azabaijan, also named Matt, the first of hopefully many cool people I’ll come across on this trip. He was a grad student also headed to Osaka, we were having some good conversations until the plane suddenly shot up and accelerated quickly on it’s approach to the airport!
Pretty much took all the passengers by surprise with everyone looking around in confusion, one minute we were slowly descending, the next headed back up with lots more speed. The pilot shortly came on the speaker to apologise for the sudden change in direction, but it had to be done as we were ‘in very close proximity to an airbus’!
With any potential collisions thankfully avoided we touched down in Paris. Which I’m sad to say was not a great experience. The frist disappointment came when I had to clear security once again with my hand luggage, which meant the pain of taking my laptop out again. I mean what do they think I could have put in my hand luggage since boarding the plane?!
The biggest downside though was the fact I couldn’t actually buy a French croissant in France! My friend suggested I get some croissants in while I’m in Paris, a mission which I set, and even decided I’d attempt to order in French to increase the hilarity! But searching the whole terminal not a single café sold them!!! So sod France, onto Japan it was!!
12 more hours of flying
I got onto the plane reasonably late, I’d got a seat in a row of two near the end of the plane with a little more space. For a while it looked like I might have lucked out and got an empty seat next to me, but from somewhere behind me a stewardess appeared with a person to put in the seat just before take off, bugger.
Still it wasn’t to bad, it was a Japanese guy named Akashi, he was heading back to Japan to visit some family, while his own family were still back in Glasgow. He was quite pleasant and happy to tell me more about various things in Japan, including Kyudo which was pretty cool. Second cool person I’ve met on the trip. The rest of the flight was the usual browse through the in flight movies, Spectre was ok, Pixels was not the worst film I’d seen (but Q-Bert shouldn’t talk like that!!!!), and a few episodes of Friends. There was a cool lighting storm I could see as we passed over Sibera, and they did ask if anyone was a doctor on board. For a moment I thought an Airplane situation might occur as one of the meals was fish. Though if they’d asked for The Doctor then things might have got more interesting! 12 hours later I was greated with my first view of Japan!