Whenever I go to an event abroad I panic I’m not going to get to see anything but the inside of a 70’s style conference centre.
Thank goodness this week I at least got a bit of Japanese culture early on so if the worst comes to the worst and all I see is rows of mushroom coloured formica chairs and terrible carpets for 6 days I can pretend I’ve seen Japan.
It’s a reception for all the organisers, ambassadors, leaders of charities and hospitals etc attending the WPC held at the Heian Jingu Shrine, a coach ride from the convention centre. No bad carpets here, it's beautiful. Floor to ceiling windows at the back onto a garden which looks like it’s come out of a book. Perfect apart from some cringingly loud mating toads.
After successfully managing to not break their expensive feeling champagne glass and classing the whole proceedings up by plonking my stripey straw in it we moved into another room where we sat down and waited to see why we’d moved. Let’s just say the dancing was beautiful but my ear hasn’t adjusted to Japanese singing just yet.
We then all took a swig of sake from a bowl, another logistical challenge, and dinner was served. Bright coloured salads, pink sashimi, little nests of noodles, I could have eaten and eaten.
Then back on the coach to the land that time forgot.