And so it was that I was roused by the gentle tones of ‘Boyzone’, and the pleasing sensation of a semi-crippled neck from having attempting to sleep on a chair in the foetal position; still 5 hours sleep and only 7 toilet breaks wasn’t bad at all. The queues for check-in were, as expected, rather large, but I managed to clear security and immigration in less than ten minutes, an all time record. Wandering around Narita airport it really hit home how much I am going to miss Tokyo, nowhere was this more apparent than the tempting offer of an oxygen bar, where I could breathe purified air and get sozzled on sake, probably. The plane itself was just over half full, although there was of course a bloke sat next to me, meaning that I was forced to abandon sleep and watch in-flight films for the next 12 hours instead. These ranged from the disturbing ‘Never Let Me Go’, through to the awful ‘Déjà-vu’, via the surprisingly good ‘Morning Glory’.
The flight itself was actually not too bad; I only thought that I was going to cease to exist on a handful of occasions. However, by the end of the flight I was severely dehydrated, shattered, and in need of a good shower. Imagine my delight then when I finally reached St. Pancras station only to find that unless I waited until 19:00, a return train to Harrogate was going to set me back almost £200!!! Even then, the super saver economy was over £90. So it was that within a couple of hours of arriving back in the UK I was left bemoaning the state of the British transport system, which not only insisted on robbing me blind, but also meant that I wouldn’t be getting home until almost 22:00. Oh, it’s good to be back.