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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

and full of people at any hour (even grocers selling fruits at extortionate prices - 2.50 for an orange, 100 quid for a watermelon??), beautiful Japanese women with real class, train stations, pedestrian crossings and random lampposts playing tunes, shop assistants toting megaphones, pachinko parlours and arcade games where you have to play musical instruments, flashing workmen brandishing lightsabres (aka carrots), people shovelling snow with a vengeance, Hello Kitty and waving cats, urinals that automatically detect your prescence and flush when you walk away, trying to manually shut seemingly automatic sliding doors and being laughed at by staff, not shutting seemingly automatic manual sliding doors and getting frowned at by staff, and four great friends: Tak falling over, Emma and her huge camera, August's snoring, and Dan's feet (unfair he became the running joke, as I swear mine were just as bad).

Tokyo Damage Report. Lost: 1 pair black woollen gloves, and at least a half a stone in weight (don't worry Mum - due to all this "exercise" lark rather than undereating!).

I phoned ahead to reserve a hostel mentioned in "The Bible", so I knew I would have a place to lay my head after a near 5 hour flight. for some reason I was a bit distracted (more than usual) going through security, and I managed