Well, Im in Japan now, its absolutely fantastic and I'm uploading pics as fast as I can to the blog. Some of the scenery and places are like nothing I've seen before, quickly changing from high-tech urban sprawl to coastal views to snowy mountains within a few hundred miles.
As said before, its less expensive than it seems, I am getting in-town accommodation near the stations for about 20-40 quid a night, and there is plenty of different foodstuffs for different pallettes so the squeamish dont need to worry about starving to death. And dont worry about getting accommodation either - JTB and JNTO offices are sprinkled liberally about Japan in most if not all cities so its easy to call into one and arrange something (of course, availability is down to the seasons, so the popular months of May/June may require more pre-booking but there are very useful sites out there to help with that as well).
Anyway, can't stop. Niigata and the northern coast of Honshu beckons.