World Cup Trip - Japan 2002

Photos here


What a trip - we'll never forget the politeness and welcome from the Japs. From the Information Girls at the railway station who took us to the machines to buy our tickets & put us on the right train to the thousands of England shirt wearing Japanese cheering for Eng-er-land - it's gonna make Germany 2006 quite boring.

The memories:
Checking in at Heathrow for Aeroflot flight with 99 Irishman.
Getting picked on by the racist police ('cos we're English).
The hassle of Moscow customs and money declarations.
Saving $94 by using public transport from the airport.
Moscow sights, the drinking and watching the girls.
6 Irish miss the flight. 2 English get upgraded.
Sweating at passport control Tokyo - we get through!
Stopped at customs. Spug's lost his key, bag gets cut open.
Narita Express train to hotel - map lights up where we are.
Hotel has mini bar, porn channel and Irish bar nearby.
Watching the opening game with Japs, Swedes and Irish.
Singing Senegal, Senegal with the Boro.
First Jap food - I choose COLD noodles by mistake - ugh!
Bobby's Bar Karaoke and fiddling - Union Jack Bras.
Spug sings Strangers in the night - without music.
Rolfy & Harry - Spurs fans. £150 to be covered in baby oil.
Drinking in Jap Bars - Litre glasses of beer (£3 a pint).
Jap business men – out cold lying in the street at 9pm – smashed.
The Sony Building (free PS2 games) & English Bar - £9 a pint.
Sweden Game - Everyone loves the English and our flags.
Photos - had more taken of us than we took of Japan.
1-1 & the team ignored the fans at the end.
Mt Fuji trip - 7 trains, 2 cable cars a ship and a bus.
Clouds - couldn't see Mount Fuji. Bullet train awesome.
Visit to Tokyo Zoo - saw the Giant Pandas.
14 hours on the train. But the England express had a bar.
The bed trains - trying to stay in your bunk round bends.
Problems with FIFA hotel in Sapporo. Only had a single room.
Got lucky and swapped with WBA fan who had a twin.
Visit to Brit Beat Bar - The Beatles and Oasis playing live.
Meet Robert Didds (No 1 England Fan) & EnglandFans members.
22 England fans climbed Mount Fuji – in the snow with trainers!
The Argie game is no 150 for Mr Didds (in a row – 14 years).
Visit to Brewery - all you can eat & drink £15 for 100mins.
Match day - centre of Sapporo, party in the park.
Some bars shut - we find a Thai restaurant, drink G&T's.
Teach Japs to sing God Save The Queen.
Party in Susikino, 500 bars in the bar area of Sapporo.
New song: Not an Argie in sight, the English are in Sapporo.
More from Jap Beatles and Jap Oasis. They run out of beer.
Excellent hot noodles with pork. Bed at 5:30am.
Flight back to Tokyo. Quiet night in - still recovering.
Then the problem flight home via Moscow. Get stuck at airport.
Stay at Novotel but there's a KGB agent outside our door all night.
We avoid riots in Moscow 'cos we're stuck in our hotel room.
At least they upgrade us on the flight home - return to rain in England.

Sure there’s some memories stuck in the alcoholic haze still.

What a trip…


Diary reprinted from the The GuestBook

29 May
Just getting a few beers in at Heathrow before the Aeroflot flight to Moscow! It was cheap you see... Got a full day in Red Square (the place not the drink) tomorrow, then off to Tokyo - Russian Visas permitting. Got all the tickets, passports, currency, rail pass and Dyer number 23 England Shirts - HERE WE GO etc....ENG-ER-LAND etc...

30 May
The longest journey EVER. Hassled by police at Heathrow (just extra passports checks to make sure we weren't hooligans but they didn't check anyone else and told Spug he had previous and would have trouble getting in to Japan - this was a wind up we made it OK., then along with 99 Irishmen we hit Moscow. Red Square, Kremlin then a cool cafe bar where we relaxed until heading back to the airport for the long, long flight to Tokyo. Used public transport in Moscow - exciting. Got sorted with train bookings and now in the hotel - time to acclimatize before the first game - off for a beer be continued... PS Aeroflot was fine - new airbus and food OK.

1 June
Day 3 - in Japan - at last we get to see England play. A very nervous night's sleep after a medium night out last night - went very Japanese last night - didn't like my chilled noodles though. Great atmosphere in the city - drinking and chatting with Irish, Swedes, Japanese - even Argies! Great place this - so polite and helpful everywhere, yet they get offended if you tip them... What's that about. Off to the match now via some pubs and trains COME ON ENGLAND!

3 June
low point last@night they didn't clap the fans at the end of the game 90 percent england fans at the game . lots of england japs. carried spug home last night . he got on stage and sang strangers in the night . well pissed. great atmosphere@and drinking at the game . no trouble at all top place this. good stadium . bud on draught 4 pints during the game. in sony centre today hi tec museum boys for toys and all that..currently 2-2 england v argies on the playstation fifa 2002! toff.. Oh yeah, and I guess you all saw the match......apols for spelling -jap keyboard

4 June
Got out of the city today and headed for the mountains and lakes around Mt Fuji. Decided to do it ourselves and not on an organised tour - This involved 7 trains, 1 Funicular, a gondola, a funitel cable car, a pirate ship and a bus. Ended up traveling all day, trying to speak Japanese (failing), falling asleep every time we sat down and to cap it all you could only make out the outline of Fuji 'cos of the haze and cloud. Bullet trains are sooooo cool though - smooth, quiet, fast and wide (2+3 seats). Off for a last night out in Roppongi tonight before heading North to Sapporo (1200km,14hours) tomorrow evening. Got to see the Pandas at the zoo too and now the Japs are playing Belgium got to fit that in as well....COME ON ENGLAND!!!

5 June
Big hangover - 5:30am got to bed. Saw the Giant Pandas at Tokyo Zoo today and slept in the park. Getting the train North for 14 hours now....

8 June
Waaaaaaaaaaaah! UNBELIEVABLE... Amazing 2 days here - watching the Japanese Beatles and all you can eat & drink BBQ at the brewery for 15 quid. Oh and we beat the Argies...

8 June
victory part continues. ditched the train tickets and got a flight back from sapporo - a lot quicker & easier. More from the Beatles and Oasis last night! time for some shopping and sorting out stuff. still cant quite believe we won

10 June
Currently being held prisoner by Aeroflot at Moscow Airport - there's a KGB agent outside the hotel door, even the fire escapes are locked. Got bumped off the London flight - GRIEF! Flying back Mon now. Still, we beat the Argies....