To Japan, where a booming economy meant a healthy tourist industry. I was quite often the only blond foreigner surrounded by the ceremonious Japanese tour-guide and her flock of homely punters.
Flying to Asia on Air India:
On the London underground, everyone was going home from work; I was going to Asia.
2. Landing in Tokyo, Narita Airport:
The connecting flight from Bombay stopped at Calcutta and Bangkok before landing at Narita airport, Tokyo.
3. Staying in Tokyo - Budget Traveller in a Business Hotel:
How could I justify a week's food-bill on eight hours between clean sheets?
4. Pilgrimage to Nikko:
My pilgrimage to Nikko was shrouded in mist.
5. Eating Japanese:
I searched out the most Japanese establishment to try my hand at chopsticks.
6. Tourists in Kyoto:
Kyoto was not the 'old capital of Japan' that I had expected.
7. Staying in Kyoto:
We were a mixed-bag at the tatami-matted guest-house in Kyoto.
8. Taking The Train in Japan:
The sleek, streamlined, white and blue bullet drew up casually, like a head waiter in a white tuxedo ready to take an order.
9. On The Train in Japan:
The train was full. People stood in the aisles. Model businessmen relaxed after a hard day at work; their guards were down.
10. Southern Island of Kyushu:
At the warm Hakata station the other passengers swept home with their chocolates in coloured bags or onto a last connection.
11. Ascent to Mt Aso:
The rising sun was a good cure for a night spent on an undersized wooden bench.
12. Japanese Cable-Car Hostess:
The cable-car hostess wore a blue uniform, matching hat and white gloves.
13. Kumamoto Zuibyo Festival:
Every 15th September the citizens of Kumamoto celebrate the Zuibyo Festival; the festival of Fujisaki Hachiman Shrine.
14. Shinkansen Train Travel:
I was stirred from sleep just after midnight to find a figure in a grey uniform bent over me. He apologised for disturbing me, but he had to lock up.
15. Japanese Style:
A sign on the door said 'Japanese Style'.
The structure of the former Industrial Promotion Hall is the only ruined building allowed to stand; its dome has become a symbol of the destruction.
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Chapter Two: Kimchi and Gold Medals.
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