Adventures in Japan, Part 1; Norfolk-Nottingham- London-Paris (briefly!)-Tokyo

πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ Konnichiwa (Hi!) from Tokyo!! 

We’ve made it to the furthest East we’ve ever travelled to, Tokyo, Japan and are about to embark on 1.5 weeks of cramming as much as we possibly can in!

We left Norfolk mid afternoon on Tuesday, and travelled North to Nottinghamshire, for a lovely evening with Dad and Jenny, celebrating Jenny’s birthday. Leaving our car on their drive,  Mum and Alec picked us up the next day and we had a good, albeit eventful day in Newark (guess who dropped their phone in the the river Trent… Whoops!)

Wednesday afternoon was mainly spent sourcing a replacement handset as all our travel docs were now laying on the river bed of the Trent (still cringing!) and the evening, drowning my sorrows re downloading all my docs onto new handset. Never a dull moment. 

Thursday arrived and it was FINALLY time to get on our way, we were dropped at Newark Northgate station ready for our first of many train journeys of this trip, down to London Kings Cross. 

(Notice no pics up to this point, they are all at the bottom of the river!)



Toasting finally being on our way!

On arrival at Kings Cross, we quickly dumped our bags at the hotel, The Travelodge Kings Cross Royal Scot, cheap. Cheerful but perfect location, and jumped on the tube to Fenchurch Street, where we met up with Keith’s Dad for a pre booked, but free visit up the SkyGarden


Panoramic London skyline from SkyGarden terrace


having been up the Shard twice, i still adore the design of the building, but must admit, the view from the SkyGarden WITH the Shard in is top notch. And free!


Tower Bridge from The Sky Garden


Tower Bridge, Mayors Office and HMS Belfast


As the name suggests, inside there are gardens



Tower of London


We spent a good hour or so up there and enjoyed a glass of fizz overlooking The Shard.


looking up from the bottom- the building is known as ‘The Walkie Talkie’ Building

We really enjoyed our visit and highly recommend it. Tickets need to be booked online 3 weeks before you visit, but are free  – amazing for London! 

Next we wandered in the lovely sunshine past The Tower of London to St Katherine Docks, one of my favourite, newly found spots in London. You would be mistaken for thinking we were in Monte Carlo (although maybe the boats were a bit small compared to there!) there are loads of restaurants and bars overlooking the water. We chose the historical Dickens Inn for a couple of pints and then went on to Zizzis, also within the Docks and overlooking the former warehouses.



Old and New



St Katherine’s Docks

Dickens Inn


St Katherine’s Docks by night

The Shard and Tower of London by night

Keith and his Dad ❀️

Friday dawned and we awoke early, with the usual sense of excitement and nerves expected when about to undertake 24 hours of travel. We had evening flights so spent the day in South Kensington, at the Science Museum (handy as there is left luggage for £4 a suitcase). Mid afternoon and we made our way to Heathrow, ready to meet up with our Great Rail Tour Manager and rest of the group. Amazingly, our tour manager is John Levick, who coincidently took us across America last year- he is brilliant and we couldn’t be happier to be in his hands once again. 

Science Museum


Arriving at Heathrow


Our flight took us on Air France to Paris, a very short 40 min flight, crammed with complimentary G&T and sandwich, before changing planes at CDG and continuing to Tokyo Haneda, still with Air France for the main 12 hr flight. 

Landing at Paris, Le Tour de Eiffel just visable (iPhone pic!)


It’s true to say neither of us were looking forward to the journey, but Air France did a good job of making both flights comfortable. We were served champagne, Japanese Beef curry, Miso Soup, apple tarts, Camember for our main meal, followed by free drinks and then Eggs florentine for breakfast. 

We arrived in Tokyo on Saturday evening (Sat lunch time UK time- We are currently 8 hours ahead) and were picked up by coach and met ourJapaense guide who along with John will ensure our tour is fabulous, I’m sure. 

We arrived in time for a cheeky cocktail on our hotels roof bar, we are staying at the AMAzing Keio Plaza Hotel. 

View from hotel bar- Keio Plaza Hotel


Cheers from the top of Tokyo



It’s now Sunday morning, so time to get up and get exploring TOKYO! 

Until next time, 



PS- Japanese Loos….. Amazing! Heated seatsπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘  enough said…. 

Mod con Loo!




3 thoughts on “Adventures in Japan, Part 1; Norfolk-Nottingham- London-Paris (briefly!)-Tokyo

  1. It all sounds fabulous! We love St Katherine’s dock. We used to spend a lot of time there as hubby used to work in London. Did you know the moved the Dickens Inn! Lock ,stock and brick by brick! Smashing blog. Looking forward to the next episode. By the way, I went for a Pearl 600 with a solid silver head in the end. Happy holidays! Xx

  2. Could you give me the URL of the company you are travelling with and would you recommend them please, just that i am looking into it for myself and also my parents. They usually go on cruises, but want to have a break from them and are looking at escorted Tours.

    1. Hi we are travelling with Great Rail, ( and this is our second tour with them. Most certainly would recommend- good value with lovely hotels and itinerary that are pretty packed but still allow time to do your own thing.

Leave a Reply