I know you are all waiting to see pictures from Japan, so I have stolen a few moments from jetlag stupor to try and put these up.

I arrived in Tokyo after a super flight on ANA (All Nippon Airlines) from London on the 16th. The service is incredible on this airlines and the food is wonderful!

I was met at the airport by my very dear editor, Yuri Kagoshima. She has been my editor for every single book in Japan and we have had so many adventures during my previous three visits that it was like coming home to an old friend!

She took me to my hotel, the Grand Palace. Again, this is where I always stay when I am in Tokyo, so again, it was like coming home. I am just so pleased to be back in Japan!

Early the next morning I needed to get a flight to Kumamoto, which is at the far southern end of Japan from Tokyo - about two hours' flying time. Unfortunately, when I woke up, the weather was not very promising. Here is the view from my hotel room, looking east across Tokyo.

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When we went out to the airport, we heard that the weather was very bad in the south of Japan and so many flights were being diverted to other cities due to high winds or very poor visibility because of the wind.

Yuri came out to the airport with me and here we are, waiting worriedly, wondering if I will be able to take the plane to Kumamoto. (We are putting a cheerful face on things. Yuri makes me laugh a lot!)

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Unfortunately, Yuri could not take off work to travel with me to Kumamoto on that flight, so also at the airport is Masako Irie. Masako is my translator. She is a very famous translator in Japan and has done a wonderful job with my books, which is why they are so popular. Masako is going to travel with me. So, here we are, still waiting for the Kumamoto plane.

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At last we are able to board and we have a VERY bumpy (and rather exciting!) ride to Kumamoto through the storm clouds, but we arrive in one piece. As you can see, Kumamoto weather is still not quite as welcoming as Tokyo, because this is all I can see of the castle and mountains behind it from my hotel window:

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Once settled, Masako and I go to meet with the interpreters who will be giving a simultaneously translation of my lecture at the JSCN (Japanese Society of Child Neurology) conference the next day.

Then we head off to find some dinner. Here is a picture of a large covered street next to the hotel. We'd call it an arcade in Britain:

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I have left my umbrella in Tokyo, as I had to pack only a small bag to take to Kumamoto, and Masako is concerned I will get too wet. So she takes me to a Japanese "dollar store", called a "100 yen store" here because everything costs only 100 yen (which is about 50p in British money).

Here is a quick peek into the 100 Yen store, whihc is very much like dollar stores the world over!!

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And here is the display of (very cheap!!) umbrellas. I got a natty lime green one.

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Masako is staying at a different hotel than I am because there was no room for anyone else here except those attending the conference (which is very big.) So she had noticed an interesting display of my books in a book shop named Marubun nearby. So she went to show me. Of course, we had to take a picture.

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