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Dr John Hawkins

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Narita to Tokyo to Hiroshima

Posted on 2014/11/16 07:41:30 (November 2014).

[Sunday 2nd November 2014]
My flight landed at Narita airport at something like 8:25 in the morning Japanese time, and impressively I managed to get through the airport in under 25 minutes, to make it onto the 8:50 Narita Express. An hour later I was at Tokyo station, and decided to get the 10:30 shinkansen from there to Hiroshima. 40 minutes there should have been plenty of time to buy tickets and try to find something reasonable for lunch, but I was tired, and the hectic crowds of Tokyo station, even on a Sunday morning, where a bit overwhelming. So I only managed to buy a single ticket when I should really have got a return, and couldn't manage to pay with a credit card, so ended up spending the majority of the cash I had with me. I also went through the inner barriers for the shinkansen far too early, and then realised there were only tiny little kiosks from that point on with barely anything to eat.

Still, four hours of continuously falling asleep but then immediately waking up again on the train later I was in Hiroshima. Chie and Erika came to the station to meet me, and Erika squeezed through a gap in the fence to come and say hello even before I'd gone through the ticket barriers. That was really lovely.

Once back at Chie's family home, after distributing omiyage, it was generally agreed I was in dire need of an afternoon nap, and I slept until it was dinner time.

After dinner, we headed over to the part of Hiroshima near where Chie's Grandmother lives, as the local shrine was having what I understood to be the Japanese equivalent of a harvest festival. A stage had been set up, and there was some kind of play set to music involving samurai in brightly coloured outfits and lots of twirling around. I didn't really understand what was going on, but it was quite atmospheric, and all felt very Japanese.

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