Day 5 – Your bow is red, your dress is blue, oh Hello Kitty, I really love you! (Valentine’s Day at Sanrio Puroland!)

I've been obsessed with the little white cat with a red bow since I was child, when Sanrio merchandise was far harder to come by. Whenever our parents took us to London, my sister and I would insist on a visit to Harrods or Hamleys, where I'd spend my pocket money on Hello Kitty stationary … Continue reading Day 5 – Your bow is red, your dress is blue, oh Hello Kitty, I really love you! (Valentine’s Day at Sanrio Puroland!)

Tokyo Day 4 – Visiting the Emperor, travelling back in time and window-shopping for plastic food.

After waking up far, far too early, I made the Imperial Palace my first stop of the day. I'd expected just to be able to walk around the surrounding parkland, but when I got to the gate I discovered you could have a free guided tour. The tour is in Japanese, but there's a free … Continue reading Tokyo Day 4 – Visiting the Emperor, travelling back in time and window-shopping for plastic food.

Tokyo Day 3 – Hot baths, cheese curry and freaky face masks.

I’m writing in Starbucks, and it’s 8am, which is a time of day I didn’t often experience (at least not out of choice) until the last 6 months or so, when I’ve inexplicably become allergic to lying in. Is this something that happens when you hurtle towards your thirtieth year on earth? Or is it something … Continue reading Tokyo Day 3 – Hot baths, cheese curry and freaky face masks.

Tokyo: Day 1 – Crying on a plane, but winning in the amusement arcade.

I'm typing away in my little pod room (that might be overstating it, let's call it a pod cupboard) after an exhausting day travelling to Japan. My flight left Heathrow at 19.00 on Friday, and I landed around 16.00 Tokyo time on Saturday. Sleep was somewhat lacking on the flight; I always get a weird … Continue reading Tokyo: Day 1 – Crying on a plane, but winning in the amusement arcade.