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One traveller's day-by-day account of a year-long journey through Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada

the earthquake?" I thought he was kidding at first, but some of the others had heard and felt it too. I was gutted I had slept through it completely. Scarily, only hours before we were talking about how great it would be to experience a (small!) earthquake during our time here. I wondered whether one of the others had secretly wished for an earthquake at the Meiji Shrine yesterday. Apparently, it wasn't a major one, about 4 on the Richter scale, but the ground noticeably shook, and 27 people in Tokyo were injured, according to Tak by stupid things such as falling out of bed. Hilariously, the news reported a man also "panicked and ran into barbed wire".

We all had a lie-in and took it easy today, first checking out the "Electric Town" of Akihabara to which I had already been, but was more than happy to browse again. We discovered little shops selling odd gadgets such as ear torches, police car sirens (I considered getting one for the mini, but thought the police might have something to say about that) and the flashing sticks (known as "carrots") that workmen in this country wield to direct traffic.

When it got dark we went up the 40th floor of the Sky Tower building for some amazing night views of the Tokyo bay area. With the mist, lights and neon, it was all very Blade Runner-esque.