Tokyo to Hiroshima

We woke to a dreary cold Tokyo morning. I always feel better about leaving a place I have loved when the weather is bad, and 3 degrees with rain qualifies as bad in my books. Hotel Richmond in Mejiro had been a brilliant place to stay, with great transport links but very quiet and calm by Tokyo standards. It reminded us a bit of Richmond where we lived in London. We…

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Our plan was for Hiroshima to be a more relaxing part of the trip, and a chance for our tired bodies to rest a bit. With the promise of a fine day ahead, we headed for Miyajima Island, just south of Hiroshima. We took the local train and then a short ferry ride, all covered by our JR passes. Miyajima is home to the Itsukushima Shrine with its iconic red Torii…

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Bird’s eye view of Tokyo

After the wobbles of yesterday, Monday went a lot more smoothly. Our city-survival strategies are definitely improving. We woke to sunshine so we grabbed the chance to visit Skytree. Tokyo has a number of high places offering great views of this mega sized city. The kids were desperate to visit Skytree - the tallest tower in the world at 634 metres high (and the second tallest structure, only beaten by Burj…

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Disney – Japanese style

Our last trip to the USA was a theme-park free adventure. The kids were never going to agree to that a second time. Tokyo Disney has two theme parks on offer - Disneyland and Disneysea. We had told the kids we would devote one Tokyo day to the mouse in a park of their choice. Disneysea was the clear favourite - it's the only sea themed Disney park in the world…

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Sights, smells and shopping

The hard beds were strangely comfortable and we slept like logs in this remarkably quiet hotel. There was no cooked Villa breakfast for us this morning, we had to fend for ourselves. Fortunately there is a delicious bakery across the road, so we stocked up there and added a few goodies from the nearby supermarket. It was a pretty decent feed and fuelled us for a morning in Tokyo. The weather…

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From quiet country town to the heart of Tokyo

We had a slower start this morning as we didn't need to be ready for first lifts. It turned out to be a good day to leave - the forecast was for high winds so they closed the gondola and only had a few lower lifts working. We got big hugs from the Villa staff when we left, it really was like being part of their family for a week. It…

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