In April last year I set off on the trip of a lifetime to Japan. I had been wanting to visit Japan for some time and with a landmark birthday coming up, I decided this was the time to do it. I booked a place on the Colouricious Creative Japan trip in April 2016 and spent the next 12 months trying not to build up my expectations too high. I didn't need to worry. I had a fabulous time in great company. It was 10 fully packed days of sights and experiences.
The trip started with a meetup at Heathrow airport. There were 23 of us in the group and it is a great testament to Colouricious, that 16 of the 23 had already travelled on one of their holidays. Introductions were made. Names were exchanged and immediately forgotten, but at least we had 10 days to get them all straight.
After a 12 hour flight and a bus ride, we arrived at our first hotel, which was Hotel Candeo, Ueno Park in Tokyo. It was around the level of a Premier Inn. Absolutely adequate considering we would be out and about most of the time. The view from the window was just what you would expect from a built up city.
It was glorious afternoon when we arrived, so most of us took the opportunity for a walk in the area around the hotel.The hotel was right next a museum district and of course Ueno Park itself.
Although I was hoping to see cherry blossom, I knew that the cherry blossom season would be past it's peak in Tokyo when we arrived but some varieties were still flowering well.
This whale statue outside the Natural History Museum reminded me of the Whale and the Flowerpot falling to earth in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Everywhere there was cherry blossom, there were people taking selfies. As it was Easter Sunday, it seemed that many people had taken advantage of the good weather to get out and about.
That evening we headed out for the first of many beautifully presented meals. My chopsticks skills are at a pretty basic level but they got plenty of practice over the following 10 days.
I already knew about the fully featured Japanese toilets and the toilet in my hotel room was the first example of this, so I had to take a photo.