Although my job assignment is in Tokyo, I work for a multinational company that also has an office in London. So, on occasion, I take the flight from Tokyo to London.
One thing you quickly come to realize when living in Japan is that a trip to just about any other country is a long trip. Going to the United Kingdom is no exception. It is a l-o-n-g trip.
There are a few direct flights from Tokyo to London. But they tend to be pretty pricey. On this trip, I opted for the less expensive one-stop flight on Air France.
About 11 hours in the air from Tokyo to Paris, then a layover of about 3 hours, followed by a quickie 1-1/2 hour flight to London Heathrow. At about $1,300 USD for a bare-bones economy seat, it still wasn’t cheap, but it was substantially less than the direct flight … and only about 3 hours longer travel time.
London’s usually a pretty easy city to get around. We took the Piccadilly Underground line from Heathrow, then changed at Green Park to the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf, the location for this trip’s hotel. About an hour on the tube, which costs around 3 GBP – around $4 USD. Of course, if you’re averse to the subway, there’s always a taxi… if you’re willing to pay around $100 USD. I’ll opt for the tube, thank you.
After being in Tokyo for awhile, it’s refreshing to be someplace where the predominant language is English. Of course, London is such a multicultural city, you hear a multitude of languages and accents. Still, we come to appreciate the ability to hear and read with ease most of the time.
This trip involved a venture outside of London. Southwest Railway train to Poole, then a rental car to Lulworth Cove on the southern coast.
My first chance to drive on the left side of the road, on the right side of the car, shifting a manual transmission with my left hand. Actually, it was kind of fun…with only a few near-death experiences in the roundabouts.
We enjoyed our journey to the UK, and had a good time. But after a few days, we found ourselves ready to go back home to Japan. After living in Tokyo for nearly three years, it really does seem like home…a place we look forward to coming “home” to.