Toyooka, Japan

Tonight was our first Japanese concert in six years, and it’s lovely to be back in this fascinating country. Quite obviously, Asian countries vary hugely – as much as European ones, if not more – and I’ve enjoyed the journey from China to Taiwan and now to Japan. Toyooka is a small city, and provincial Japan is a world away from metropolitan Tokyo, so this provided a good atmosphere for easing us into this set of concerts.

We’ve had the good fortune to be travelling by train for much of this tour, including an amazing two-stage trip from Beijing to Guangzhou – well over 2,000 kilometres – in just over 12 hours by train. Yesterday, on our arrival in Osaka, we again took the train (three trains, in this case) to get up to Toyooka, and experienced the Bullet Train for the first time in a few years. As an Englishman, my first thought was of course to grumble about how dreadful the trains are in the South East of England. Luckily, I don’t really have to commute :)

Tomorrow we head back to Tokyo, our base for much of this trip. We have nine concerts in eleven days, which is very concentrated and not a schedule we’d normally have, but this is being seen very much as our Japanese “re-boot” after several years of absence. In advance of the 50th Anniversary, it’s important for us to reach out to all our long-serving fans around the world, and over the years we’ve had so many wonderful experiences here in Japan, and know that we have many avid KS listeners, so this tour is something we feel very invested it. Added to which, our tenor Jules is of course half Japanese! I’m envious of his linguistic skills; all I can do is smile and nod…


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