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More plans for Japan

We spent some quality time this morning fleshing out plans for our September return trip to Japan. Our itinerary has been narrowed down to: Fly London to Tokyo Immediately get on flight to Osaka 5 nights in Osaka, including day trips to Kyoto Shinkansen train to Hiroshima 3 nights in Hiroshima Fly to Tokyo 5 nights in ...

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One more airport security rant…

…if I may. I fly pretty much monthly these days and, while the post-911 security mentalism has by and large subsided, one aspect of airport security still irks me: the inconsistencies. Even within the UK. On my flight up to Edinburgh from London Gatwick, I took all the usual precautions, removing shoes, belt, electronics from ...

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Bags and baggage

I write this in Dunfermline, Scotland where I’m visiting my parents. I flew up from London Thursday night to avoid insane weekend flight prices, but failed to avoid insane bag madness. Picture the scene. A plane-full of people all carrying far too much carry-on baggage, all getting aggressive with each other because they can’t find ...

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The misery of business travel

Warning: significant “white whine” follows… I travel a lot in my job. This, in itself, is not a problem. I like both my job and travel. The distances are rarely significant - last year was an exception, with jaunts to Poland, Spain and Switzerland. Usually, it’s within the UK or just as far as Ireland. ...

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The power of the seat reservation

This evening, I left London Paddington on a train bound for Cheltenham. As with all my planned travel for business, I’d bought my ticket well in advance - both to be assured of a seat (not always guaranteed on British trains) and to be on a train that gets to my destination some time before ...

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A weekend in Madrid

Madrid - November 2013, a set on Flickr. A selection of photos from our recent weekend in Madrid - fantastic weather, beautiful food and a new favourite hotel. There's always something new to see. This time, it was visits to the National Library where we saw a beautiful exhibit of Japanese calligraphy, followed by the Botanical ...

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Codeshare hell

So here's the thing...you buy a ticket with one airline but end up flying with another. This is the gist of the codeshare arrangement that airlines seem to love. I have no single favourite airline, though I fly very regularly with British Airways. But I have a list of airlines I try to avoid, including ...

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Heroic Japanese drinks?

I passed by this drinks machine near Ueno Park in Tokyo and couldn't resist taking a photo. I was secretly hoping it would be stocked with some form of Marvel Comics-related drinks... X-Men Cola? Mutant Juice? Sadly, it was full of the same drinks all other machines seem to have in Tokyo - coffee, green ...

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Tokyo Diary: Part Three

I'm back from Japan and have to say the wrench I felt leaving was worse than any holiday I've ever had before. I fell in love with Tokyo while I was there.  Really. I don't think I've ever enjoyed visiting a new city as much as Tokyo, but it's difficult to say why. So what ...

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Tokyo Diary: Part Two

Yesterday, we walked off a massive breakfast by heading down to Harajuka to go shopping for gifts and check out the cosplay enthusiasts. We weren't disappointed in either case! There was a fantastic Halloween cosplay parade, which we watched for an age. The fun and enthusiasm were palpable and it helped that the weather was ...

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