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Synopsis

It's not easy landing unprepared in a country like Japan. The eccentricities of the calendar, the indecipherable postal system, not to mention the alien alphabet, language and culture, have all to be confronted before the disorientated traveller can feel at ease. Trying to ride a bicycle through the streets of one of the most congested cities in the world would seem to compound your problems. For Josie Dew, however, with over 200,000 miles already clocked up in the saddle few things could be more challenging - or for the reader of A RIDE IN THE NEON SUN, more wonderfully entertaining.

From Kawasaki to Kagoshima, Odawara to Okinawa, Josie discovered a nation rich in dazzling contrasts. The neon and concrete were there in greater abundance than even she had imagined, but so too were bottomless baths, love burgers, long-tailed cocks, musical toilet rolls, oriental Elvises, cardboard police and a sense of fun belying the population's rigourous work ethic.

Far from being the reserved race that she had heard about, the Japanese welcomed her into their homes with bountiful smiles and bows - and skin-scorching baths.

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