right, let’s go back a couple of weeks to when we were in Japan. Nothing better when it is raining, dark and windy outside in deepest south london.

I have to say Japan was a surprise, was expecting neon lights, hoards of people and a constant parade of vending machines selling school girl knickers. Apparently that is Tokyo. Osaka is very different.

I was surprised at how friendly the people were, lots of people just started talking to me (always helps when you have a small child with you) either practising their English or just showing me that they could speak English, but always welcoming me (us) to Japan.

The food, I have to say, is a little monotonous. No matter where we ate, what the menu looked like the food always appeared to be the same. Something I never experienced in Taiwan. Don’t get me wrong the food is good quality. Actually the best food we had was a simple roast pork ramen in Dotonburi. Simple, tasty and rather large.

In may ways Osaka has more in common with a European city than Taiwan or Hong Kong say. People on bikes everywhere, cooler climate, less pollution and an understaning of the queue. Please make sure you wait on on the correct side of the elevator door.

Osaka’s train system is in a word, confusing. Especially when the only map in English I had was also in black and white – try it with the Underground. Added to that there a many private lines, underground and JR lines finding your way around can be quite frustrating. But again, asking for help was easy and we always got plenty of it.

One thing I wish we could bring back is a toilet seat. Warm and cleaning.. mmmm, lol.

Kyoto is still in the Kansai region but a million miles away interms of buildings and people. They are both more stuffy. Then again areas which attract large numbers of tourists often go like this as the inhabitants often feel either like goldfish or superior. Nice house, shame about the moody face.

Sorry gonna have to stop this buiders again.. grr.