There are many things that I knew the Japanese were famous for. I had already heard from Jake about the wonderful convenience stores, I knew that the toilets were very futuristic, and that the metro system was clean, efficient and well organised.
I did know a little bit about campervans in Japan, as two of my favourite bloggers Travel Beans, and Kinging It, have been there recently and hired campers.
However, I was not expecting to actually see any while we were there. I did see so many of the cute little cars that lots of people have in the city. I took some pictures of these in the car park when we went to our woodland walk in Kamakura. How cute are they?
I kept saying to my children that they would make great campers, and we did actually come across this gorgeous pink camper with a cute vintage front grille in the village at the start of the walk.
Then we were on our way to a lovely park during one of our explorations of the outer areas of Tokyo and came across an outdoor exhibition full of campers!
I was in heaven. I admit to being slightly, (very?), obsessed with campervans, even after years of researching before I got mine, and having the excitement of getting things sorted in her. I am still watching You Tube videos, looking at Facebook posts, and generally geeking out over all types of vans.
These were incredible. The design and workmanship in these little vans was just stunning. This is my all time favourite, just look at all of that beautiful layout, it looks so high quality and comfortable.
I was very impressed by this one, with a roof tent which meant that they could use the rear space for a bath!
Not that I would consider a roof tent for me. Aside from the very high cost, I need to be able to get out at night for trips to the facilities and would probably fall down the ladder, so a tent at ground level is a far better option.
I also saw a lovely couple of very high spec larger vans when we went to visit a shopping centre. These are similar size to the new VW vans but are much better kitted out inside. This one even had a microwave.
These cost around £25,000. So when I win the lottery I am going to go back to Japan, buy one of these, travel around for a few months, then have it shipped back to the UK. Conveniently they drive on the left as well.
We were at the shopping centre to see another of the marvels of Japanese culture, not a campervan, but a giant robot. These are called Gundam, there are four large versions of these in Japan and China. They come from an animated series which has been around since 1979.
This one is 40 feet high and every hour lights up and moves a little, which is very impressive. It looks brilliant at night as well.
This one is called the Unicorn Gundum, due to the horn, and within the shopping centre is one of the main Gundam model stores, with hundreds of versions of these.
You buy most in kit form, and they have areas where you can go and build your kit with help from the staff. Jake has had many of these in his time, and when he got to Japan one of the first things he did was go and visit this giant one.
Oh and the toilets, they are amazing as well. Combining toilet and bidet, with most having a privacy noise selection as well, so that you can have sounds of running water and birdsong while you use it, they have more controls than most washing machines. That is another thing that I am buying when I win the lottery 😉
I hope that you have had a good couple of weeks. I have had a very lovely time with my friend Sharon, from Marsden, visiting. We have been on some great coach trips and over on the boat to Tabarca. This is a tiny island off the coast that I have posted about before.
Unfortunately the weather here is very unseasonably wet at the moment, and I have another friend arriving today, so we may not be able to do all that we planned. We are actually forecast rain for a whole week, which is unheard of in May 😦 However this friend, Sue, spends her time living between Yorkshire and Scotland, so is used to a bit of the wet stuff!
I will be back next week when I can share with you some of the photos from my recent birthday trip with Mum. We went to Venice, which was brilliant. We have both been before, just for a day, and loved the chance to explore more. There were many gorgeous textiles there, including a whole museum devoted to lace!
See you all soon then and have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.