It’s been a busy few days over here in the land of the rising sun.....well mostly.
So my first full night in Japan went pretty much as you’d expect when suffering jet lag. I was out like a light when my head hit the pillow, then wide awake again at just gone midnight. I thought that would be it for the night so lay reading my book and remember seeing 03;30 trundle past. Next thing I know, BOSH, its 12:30 mid day and I am coming out of a very deep sleep!
Undaunted I head into Tokyo with the intention of going to watch the England v USA Game. Now I don’t know anyone else’s thoughts but them playing us at Rugby, is like us playing them at American football....it shouldn’t happen....get off our pitch.
To give you a quick insight into the ‘Fanzone’ setup here in Tokyo.....Now I am used to football World Cup fan-zones, which are big affaires and cater for everything. Obviously the Rugby World Cup doesn’t attract the numbers football does, but still, the Fanzone in Tokyo is....well...its a bit shit. It’s indoors, in a kind of shopping Mall, they have 3 large TV screens which are all at floor level; so unless your stood at the very front the best you can hope for is a third of a screens worth of view; If you add to this the fact that many Japanese men seem to have massive heads (to which they then extend with massive flowing hair cuts), it can severely dampen your viewing pleasure. (Insider joke, but I wonder If Al Lovett is half Japanese?).
Watched Italy beat some crap team, and then giggled when I heard someone saying Italy are looking strong, as they have had 2 good wins....yeah against Namibia & Canada....not exactly powerhouses of Rugby?? I did watch them interview 2 Italian players after the game, one with a distinct South African accent and the other from Swaffham, not a word of Italian was heard.
Eventually England took the stage and immediately the biggest head in the room stood right in front of me! England cruised to a win without getting out of second gear, keeping their powder dry for the games to follow. Those cocky Yankee types did try to kill our star man, for which I feel we should again burn down their Whitehouse. After our crushing victory I headed back to the apartment but again caught the wrong train and spent a good hour trying to figure out where I was and how to correct the error.
The next day was mostly pathetic! Jet lag played its part and I again woke early afternoon. There was a stunningly gorgeous Japanese lunch involved which was beef, noodles, vegetables and Rice (lovely), and then boredom again waiting for Alisha (my daughter), to arrive. I eventually received a call from her to say she had landed and couldn’t get any cash out or get here SIM card to work (she was on WIFI). Those who know Alisha will agree this sounds about right! However the Mills part of her kicked in and she eventually found her way to the station I was waiting at and it was lovely to be able to give her my first hug in 2 years xx
A good sleep for us both, preceded us heading into Tokyo the next day for a damm good shuftie. We caught the train to that famous Square with all the crossings, which is a little bit smoke and mirrors really. It’s not what it appears to be (you may note all pics are taken from the same side), whilst interesting it wasn’t as it seems on the TV (but nothing is is it?), one side is actually a bit dull. The Mario Kart tour that you can do round the city, did have me laughing though.
A 8k walk through the city to the Fanzone found it even fuller, leaving even less chance to see the game...even with all the Japanese politely sitting down to watch the game....its not the same...you need atmosphere and the Fanzone currently doesn’t possess any, or, offer a decent place to watch a game.
Eventually decided to sack the fanzone and Found a great little bar and watched the Japs spank Ireland...great game, cracking bar and good fun, The bars are definitely the way to go.
As I type this I’m sat in a campsite, with our tents up, BBQ just fading next to me, a big lake off to my left and Mount Fuji just behind me....but more of that in the next blog..