Twice the population of the UK, five times the numbers of cities over 200,000 and more people by square metre… but Japan is free of COVID-19.
Britain’s rates meanwhile have hit 40,000 (and climbing), although they have rolled out a ‘game changer’ new track and trace system which has been beset by technological problems on its first day.
So where are we in Travel? Well our providers are only trying to batter down Home Secretary Priti Patel’s door to get her to fall in line with the rest of Europe and bin the 14-day quarantine rules for travellers.
But back to Japan.
And before all this COVID business broke out they were only planning for the Olympics which will now take place next year while eggchasers are waiting anxiously to see whether they have a game to go back to.
Rugby is scrumthing else in Japan
They have to work out how to scrum, maul and ruck at a social distance.
The great modern inventors, the Japanese, will probably work it out and you can rely on them too to have all the infrastructure and planning sorted out for the Rugby World Cup on their soil in 2023.
All of which plodding around the subject like a sumo wrestler brings me onto our holiday providers’ plans for 2021.
Which brings me to my friends at Wendy Wu who are flagging up their 13-day fully-inclusive Classic Group Tour from £5390pp.
It’s all part of their Worldwide Sale 2021 with a saving of £500pp on tour.
Which includes an ascent up Mount Fuji as the high point (sorry) of a cultural trawl across the Land of the Rising Sun.
You’ll also get to see Matsumoto Castle and Kyoto’s Shrines… and Tokyo, one of the world’s great cities, of course.
And you’ll get the chance to learn some authentic Japanese skills. They don’t say anything about sumo wrestling but what about Washi paper making, Miso seasoning and best of all Gold Leaf making.
The dates fall between late September 2021 and the end of that year so things will be back to ‘the new normal’ by then which has to be better than ‘the new normal’ that we have just now.
Why should the fish and the whales have the seas all to themselves? There, I’ve said it.
If you’ve been missing the big ships on your coast (and, yes, I know we don’t all live on an island) then you’ll be glad to know that our cruise friends have been busy planning for the day they can get back out on the water.
Our friends at Princess Cruises http://www.princess.com have embarked on a £300m product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign which puts the guest at its heart. As ever.
They are offering us award-winning chef Curtis Stone, Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz and family fun from Discovery and Animal Planet.
Best of all they are offering reduced fares from €584pp on more than 800 voyages departing from December-May 2022 as part of the Princess Sale with seven-night sailings available from €584pp. Open for booking from May 1-June 30, 2020.
Among the sample voyages are:
*A 7-night Scandinavia cruise on Grand Princess, departing November 15, 2021. Sailing round-trip from Southampton, calling in Oslo, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Kristiansand. Prices from €749pp.
*A 7-night western Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess,, departing February 7, 2021. Sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, calling at Princess Cays, Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Prices from @584pp. And again I got a whiff with I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here and want more.