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Our plane was a BOAC Boeing 707 and we boarded it at 11.20. Again we were searched for guns and our bags were searched. The sky had hardly any clouds in it and we could see the ground below nearly all the way to Copenhagen. We flew over Clacton in Sussex and it seemed we flew over the England Channel in a minute. We could see it below us all the time with boats on it. England was like a patchwork quilt, it was different shapes and colours of different yellows and greens. It was really pretty.

When flying over Holland we could see lots of canals everywhere and it was like a patchwork quilt as well. Also we flew over the Zuider Zee. Below us we could see the brilliant blue water with a long dike crossing it. It was a long straight line. We flew over Amsterdam, Copenhagen and the Baltic Sea. This is where it began to get a bit cloudier. We were travelling at a cruising speed of 550 mph. Moscow is 2 hours ahead of London. Russia was different to Europe. It was not as patchworky but more in strips. The pilot told us it was raining in Moscow and the temperature was 4 degrees C and 40 degrees F. From then on to Moscow where we were to land it was dense greyness. When we landed in Moscow we quickly ran to a bus which took us to a lounge. It was really cold and wet.

At the lounge we bought a present for Grandma. At the airport was a lounge where we saw Russians dancing on TV. That night on the plane they showed Kidnapped the movie. I didn't sleep at all this night. We flew over the Ural Mountains and then over a town that was 300 miles from the Manchurian border. When dawn arrived we could see snow capped mountains below us. They were in Siberia and really awesome and beautiful. We then flew over the Sea of Japan. While we were still over it the pilot announced that we were 100 miles left of the Japanese mainland. While over the mainland we saw paddy fields below. They were easy to find because the sun shone on the water and reflected it up to us. They were a greeny brown colour. To our right we saw Mt. Fuji. It didn’t have any snow on as it was summer. It was a black mountain with clouds around its peak.

Wednesday 27th September 1972 - Tokyo Japan

We landed in Tokyo and caught a taxi to our hotel, the Marunouchi Hotel where we were staying. A porter took our bags up to our room. They were really luxurious. In the afternoon Daddy, Stephen and I went to look around a bit. We soon came back as I felt sick. For the rest of the afternoon we slept and later on went out for tea.

Thursday 28th September 1972 - Tokyo

After a continental breakfast in bed we went on a Round Tokyo Bus Tour. We passed some railways and saw the fastest train in the world. It wasn’t going very fast as it had just left a station. It was blue and white and very sleek. We had 3 stops and our first one was Tokyo Tower, the tallest in the world. Moscow has the second highest and the Eiffel Tower is the third. We went up in a lift to the first platform where we got a really magnificent view. In front of the American Embassy was a pagoda with a green roof. It was very different to anything we had seen. In the distance where there was a lot of green we could see the Imperial Palace. Right near the Tower was a Chinese Restaurant in Japanese style. It had a beautiful gold roof. Most pagodas, shrines or Japanese style buildings we saw had a roof that curved at the edges. This one did too.

The next stop was the Imperial Palace where we saw where the Emperor and Empress live. All around the palace is a moat which has big 15 foot thick walls made out of stones. Altogether the area of the palace is 250 acres. In the grounds was the Mt. Fuji viewing tower. It was like a pagoda, black and white and had three rooves. In and outside the Palace Gardens are 3000 pine trees.

We then passed Tokyo Station which is the largest in Japan and made in 1914. On one platform at a time in peak hour there are 4000 people In one carriage at a time there are 400 people and a push man is needed to fit them all in. The front of the station is huge and modern. Our next stop was Asakusa Temple and also very unique because it has a lot of tourists and is very busy when others are not. It was established 370 years ago. Buddhism is the biggest religion in Japan, 80% are Buddhist. You can always tell the difference between a Shinto Shrine of a Buddhist Temple because the symbols on the gates are different. The temple was really interesting and so different from anything we’d seen. The roof curved up at the ends and ended in lots of round pieces of wood which all had the Buddhist sign on them. At the entrance of the Main Hall was a huge Japanese Lantern. It is so old and has many tears in it. When we entered all we saw were pieces of paper tied everywhere. These are pieces of wishing paper that people put thee. The ceiling is painted with women and flowers in pretty colours. Then Gokuden in the centre of the main hall is in really rich colours. It is gold and it is so dazzling. Outside was a really enormous statue. It was one of the gods and is red in colour. Also outside is a thing where you buy incense sticks wrapped up in bark and burn them in there. It is said that if you catch some smoke in your hand and rub it in the place where you’ve got a pain, the pain will go away. There is a washstand for worshippers and they drink the water. Japanese don’t go to church but pray every day in their homes.

We passed many parks which included Ueno Park the largest in Tokyo and 210 acres in size. We got out of the bus at the Ginza Shopping area where we looked around the big department stores. They are enormous in size just like the English ones. Most of them have 8 floors going up and 3 basements. There are girls in smart uniforms everywhere in the shop. One thing we found very amusing was when Daddy got on an escalator the girl at the bottom bowed and said to him "Honourable Sir". Coming off the main streets were little narrow streets with green trees all of one kind and height which were growing there. Also there were Japanese signs coming right out of the street. They were really quaint. Also at Asakusa Temple was a pony tower. You go in this to the top of a pole and it revolves so you can see the view. This was in place in the Tokyo Tower before it was moved. We all love Tokyo.

Friday 29th September 1972 - Tokyo

This morning we had rain so we caught a taxi to Ginza Shopping Area and looked around the shops. In the afternoon we wanted to catch a taxi to Uono Park where there was a shrine but we had trouble trying to get the driver to understand us so we went back to the hotel.

Saturday 30th September 1972 - Tokyo

This was the day we were leaving. We were catching a cab to the airport when we had a funny experience……………….

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Japan

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