I left off the last post in the Detroit airport getting ready to board our double-decker plane to Narita airport. The upper deck is for first class; cheap! The plane was slightly delayed as apparently they decided to switch planes on us. It was a little less than a 12 hour flight from Detroit across Canada, Alaska, and the Bering Straits before finally getting to Japan. They kept the lights on the whole time which made it very hard to sleep; I didn’t get much.
After arriving in Narita, we collected our baggage and got through customs unscathed, then sent most everything onto our prefectures. The rest of the luggage and ourselves piled into a big bus to make the 2 or so hour trip to Tokyo. We passed by some of the sights… Tokyo Disney Land, of which we could just see the castle, and a few of the famous train station stops. We got to the hotel, located in the popular Shinjuku district, and checked in, then I showered and went out to meet a new friend to eat.
Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera cord with me, so I wont have pictures to post for awhile; suffice it to say that Shinjuku is really cool… its like a miniature Times Square that extends for blocks… all the flashing lights and big gaudy signs, but it really retains a small-community feel. It doesn’t feel like we’re in one of the largest cities in the world! We decided to eat at a place a few blocks from the hotel that was pretty crowded. The way to get your food is to put your change into a machine and hit the button of the food you want, then sit and give the ticket to the person behind the counter. No Japanese necessary, so there were plenty of JETs around! I had beef curry which was pretty good and quite cheap!
We decided after walking around a bit to head back to the hotel; I bought postcards from the convenience store and decided to call it a night despite lots of people going out for a kirin, karaoke, or pachinko. I’ll save that for tomorrow night!
We have a really good view of some of Tokyo, the land of endless sky-scrapers, from our hotel window, and the hotel provides a yukata for guests and everything! I haven’t been here for long, but I’m already loving Tokyo. Most of my day tomorrow is filled with orientation stuff, but I’ll have some free time in the evening to explore a bit more. I’m going to try and get brave enough to take the trains to some of the other districts. Wish me luck, and I’ll post pictures in a few days!