I finally made the long journey to Japan, going on a whirlwind tour of eight cities, travelling between them by high-speed bullet train.
Japan is a country that’s made an impression on all of us, and I found that it has two distinct faces.
There’s the nation that is highly urbanised, crowded, innovative, organised, and speeds along at a breathtaking pace.
This set of photographs are all about that Japan – its neon lights, modern architecture and urban dwellers. Read more below
Tap/click first image to see gallery
While high-octane Japan can be a dizzying experience, it can still be intensely personal. Yes, the old adage is true – Japanese people are very polite and even a visit to the corner shop will be met with deference, thanks and appreciation.
I was always worried about getting horribly confused and lost on Japan’s busy streets, but could find my way around alone. And it was easy enough to order food and make ordinary transactions – the country is now used to tourists.
Some city public transport can be tricky to the uninitiated, so plan ahead and go well-armed with maps.
Hotel rooms are small (I fell over myself a few times) but well-equipped and efficient including the famous multi-functional toilets.
My advice is to immerse yourself in the Japanese urban experience, which is multi-faceted and rich. But there’s another side to this country, which I’ll bring you soon…