Friday is a day of two halves.  The morning is our last two visits to Tokyo sites and then we journey on to Yokohama port to board our cruise ship.

As we were shown earlier in the week the Buddhists have temples, the Shinto religion has shrines and our first stop this morning is the Meiji shrine.  The shrine, located in Shibuya, honours Emperor Meiji, although his tomb is elsewhere.  He was notable for opening Japan to western influences and outside the shrine this is reflected in there not only being, as with most shrines, a range of sake barrels, but also a range of wine barrels with some of the historic wine brands of which the Emperor was an early Japanese consumer.  He ruled from 1867 until his death in 1912 and was responsible for the transformation of Japan during that period.

Our next stop takes us back to the warlord era at the Hamarikyu gardens adjacent to Tokyo Bay where the waters are a fresh / sea water mix and replica Japanese tea houses have been constructed.  In the 17th century the land was reclaimed from Edo bay and a warlord villa constructed along with gardens.  It has been a public space since 1946 and the teahouses have been reinstated in the current century.  It is warmer again today and I was extremely pleased to find a water fountain adjacent to the toilets before we depart.

Rejoining coach 1 we are therefore first to reach the Hammerhead pier where the Regent Seven Seas Explorer is berthed.  First however is a need for a health declaration, no coughs, no sneezes, no covid.  Boxes ticked and we are moved to a seried rank of seats to await being summoned onboard and check in.

Once through check in we head to deck 11 to get a first taste of the dining facilities (not found wanting in the slightest) before descending to our suite with the first bag already delivered awaiting our attention.    The other two soon arrive and we slowly unpack and get ourselves organised.

Between the bathroom and bedroom there is a walk in wardrobe and we manage to fill the hanging area with our clothes plus there are enough hooks for our coats!  And there is room under the bed for the three now empty suitcases.  Beyond the bedroom there is a lounge space and finally a balcony, although weather expectations are such that it may not see much use!

A welcome drink (and canapés) in the observation saloon are consumed as we sail away prior to descending to the main dining room for an excellent meal.

It is noticeable from the guides that we are some of the first travellers seen in Japan since restrictions have been lifted and they are glad to be closer to normal.