According to the publicity campaign, my 14,000km trip starts on the 14th, but actually, that's just the day i leave Japan. The trip actually began two hours ago, at the little station of Shinden, 30 mins north of Tokyo station. We've decided to take the local train to Osaka whichtake 10 hours and 10 changes (versus 2.5 hours on the bullet train) – with tickets costing a fraction of those of it's high-speed cousin (2500yen/$20 vs. 14000yen/$82) it's not to be sniffed at. Very very tired after last night's prep. Excited though! Will write more when i have more than a telephone key pad to tap away on! jaa ne