Shirts packed, off to Japan

Off we go again – three weeks of rugby, ramen and a lot of travelling. I love Japan; this will be visit number four and I can’t wait to see how this crazy, bizarre and wonderful country deals with the chaos created by hordes of visiting rugby nutters.

The Lions tours we have been on have been brilliant, but this will be something else again.

Following the start of the RWC2019 on social media only gives a flavour of what’s to come. The Japanese fans clearing up the litter in the stadium after games, the 15,000 locals who turned up to watch Wales train, and sang so beautifully as well, the mad Japanese fan body painting himself ahead of every game, and the Toyota police waiting to arrest the drunken foreigners after the Wales game, who had to settle for a drunken Japanese guy, who took off his trousers and threw his shoes at the police! I just can’t wait to get there and be part of it all.

To do this alongside some of our best mates is going to make it even better. Chris and Rich – we’ve loved exploring your adopted country before, but this visit will be something special.

So the itinerary for the next few days: arrive in Osaka mid afternoon Wednesday. Sleep!

Thursday head to Kobe for England v USA and Lewis Ludlam is starting. Rotherham connection #1. Friday a day out in Nara, for temples and tame deer. Saturday we head to Kyoto with temples and gardens on the agenda. Sunday it’s the bullet train to Hiroshima for one night. Monday another bulletin train into Fukuoka, our base for the rest of the trip, and meet up with Chris and his family.

Are we trying to do too much? Probably, but it is the trip if a lifetime and it has to be done. Updates to follow, the bizarre, the beautiful and the downright bonkers. That’s Japan.

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