The idea was to fly over to Japan, and then come all the way back to the UK on the surface, including a trip on the Trans Mongolian route. To break up the journey I stopped at Shanghai, Beijing, Ulan Bator, Irkutsk, Moscow, and Brussels.
After flying into Narita airport, and spending a few days in Japan, including meeting up with an old friend. I was on the move again taking the Shinkensen from Tokyo down to Osaka.
I caught the boat from Osaka into Shanghai, and paid a little bit extra to have a cabin on my own, which was the best way of surviving the trip. There's not really a great deal to do on the boat, apart from read, chat to the other passengers, and eat. In fact some of the best Chinese food I had was onboard, even though I was using the picture menu!
There were quite a few passengers on the boat, most of them either Japanese or Chinese, but it was obvious that the containers loaded into the hold of the ship were the real money makers for the ships owners!