Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Japan ,Co Land of Contrasts

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Japan ,Co Land of Contrasts

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB BLACK

JAPAN is a land of contrasts, with the big city feel of ultra-modern Tokyo complemented by some of the small and ancient villages in the mountains.

The main island of Honshu, of which Tokyo is the biggest centre, has everything that is Japan Co and there are still three major islands of Hokkaido in the north and Shikoku and Kyushu in the south.

Most tourists arrive at Narita Airport, about one to two hours east of Tokyo city, and with the time difference of only an hour from the eastern states of Australia it is a fairly easy eight to 10 hour flight.

We arrived in C[pounds sterling]peak hourC[yen] Co which incidentally may run from 4pm to 11pm in the evening and 7am to 11am at the start of the day Co and caught the airport limousine bus to downtown Tokyo.

There are drop-offs at the major hotels, but as we were being adventurous and staying in a self-catering apartment, we opted for Shinjuku Station and battling the crowds and a foreign ticketing system to get to our destination.

It was all a bit of an adventure and not without a couple of minor panic attacks, more for us than the children, but once you get the hang of it the, Japanese public transport system is just amazing Co on time, clean, safe and fast.

The JR lines (or subway if you choose) are for getting about the city and the Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) the way to go between major centres.

Tokyo is a great experience; big, very busy, but clean, efficient and the people generous, honest and willing to help the bumbling or lost tourists.

The shopping was great Co according to the world championship shoppers Co the food fantastic and the new gadgets gizmos and technology mind-boggling.

Around Tokyo Station, only a slightly smaller version of Shinjuku, meaning about as big as your town back home, there is the flash Marunouchi business district and a 10-minute walk to the Ginza shopping district with huge department stores and everything you had imagined about Tokyo. …

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