We spent the most lovely week in Japan. It was my first visit to Tokyo and Hokkaido and the only thing I regretted was not learning how to speak at least some japanese before I went there. So it was mostly hello and thank you very much that I could say wth ease. The people are really gracious and they do everything with a smile, it was also safe walking out late. With Lonely Planet as our guide, we found our way to most of the places with ease. I liked everything about Tokyo and had a lovely time visiting the temples. I could really live in this city. We were a little worried when typhoon Jelawat passed by but aside from the strong winds and the rain that night (and an umbrella that did not stay up), we were back in our tiny hotel quite safely.