Back in Japan from London

I've been back in Japan for almost 3 weeks and am finally getting 'round to writing the final "wrapup" post for my trip to London. A common question people ask me is "What was the best thing/worst thing about the trip", which I'll answer here as well.

Best thing: Hands down, the bicycle culture in London. There's heaps of bike lanes throughout the city. Some are just paint, but many are proper protected bike lanes. I saw cargo bikes, cargo bikes with children in them (wish I could do this!), and even paramedics on a bike (all of his gear was bike-packed in panniers). Perhaps my favorite though, and I saw him twice, was this morning commuter that had his pug riding with him between his hands sitting on a little platform. The only regrettable thing is my cards didn't seem to work with the Boris bikes, so I couldn't rent a bike and cycle about.

Cycle lanes

Cycle routes

Cycle shortcuts

Worst thing: I had to think about this and the worst thing I could come up with wasn't even that bad, but there was trash everywhere. Not bits of paper or candy wrappers, but like a random garbage sack, only one on the street, so it's not even trash pickup day/time, sitting there smelling things up. It could be hyper-sensitivity because Japan is really clean, generally speaking.

The flight back to Japan was good. On the flight to London, I didn't realize that I could select my seat before checkin, so I ended up with a window seat. Sitting in a window seat on long haul flights isn't fun as it makes it harder to get up and move about when you please. This time about I managed to snag one of the last aisle seats.

The seating in premium economy is quite nice. You can't lay flat like you can in business, but you the seats slide out (so no front passenger getting in your space / nearly breaking your laptop with a sudden recline (true story))Β  and you have leg support.

Premium Economy on JAL

Food was also quite nice, though the combination was a bit odd – lasagna and soba?

Main meal

With everything going on in Ukraine, just like the flight there, we couldn't fly over Russia. As such we took the southern route back, which added a couple of hours to our flight time.

14 hours of fun!

Upon arrival in Japan we all had to do covid tests. If I had arrived 2 days later, I wouldn't needed to do the arrival test. It was just a simple saliva test, but my mouth was quite dry by then, so I had to really work to get enough. They hung a photo of a lemon to help you salivate.

No covid for me

Getting through the covid test queue was straight forward enough. But with the number of steps in the flow, I can see why the government has done away with it. There's no way that it could handle more passengers than it was already.Β 

Most of things post has been not about London, but the trip back from London, so I'll end with this. London is great. Despite being about 36% smaller than Tokyo, the amount of diversity you experience in London is night and day different. I can't wait to go back.