posted on Friday, September 02, 2005


Here I am finally arrived in sweltering hot and busy Tokyo the start of a new adventure. Sitting in Kitasenju Station waiting with a sense of achievement for the last of a series of trains that will get me to Nikko where tomorrow I will begin this cycling journey. Achievement is not an exageration as my detailed and well pondered bike trip did not take much consideration of the infamous Tokyo commuters rush hours.
All started actually remarkably well at Narita where asking a lady a for directions I ended up having a conversation in japanese that made me proud of my few months studying the language. She was stopping at the same station so we sat together and I managed to find out that she had taken her daughter to the airport as she was flying for a holiday in Vietnam. She was from Saitama and ... yes her first few words confirming all odds were 'Nihongo ga jozu desu ne'. Nothing to get excited about as it seems the standard way to praise brave foreigners in their faintest attempts to utter some japanese sense! It went downhill after we parted and I was left walking through a japanese 'Khumb Mela' with a bike box and a large bag! Maintaining my sanity was a confirmation of the adaptable qualities of the human species. My stamina got a final gruelling test when reaching the final departure station to Nikko. I was met by stern looks and hesitation of the station master who risk his life telling me that my box was too big to get on the Nikko train. Mentioning to him that I had taken three commuter trains before then coming all the way from Narita softened him somewhat as he probably made up his mind that I must be raving mad!