Well we have now arrived in Japan. The flight was a full one, with a poor (for me) selection of movies, but aside from that it was fine. Cherry blossom season has hit Tokyo with the result that looking out of the plane’s window while landing we just saw a sea of light pink blossom.
We just missed one train in to Tokyo, so had to wait an hour. The fact that the only place to spend time was a Starbucks alas sums up the world we live in. The journey in was quick and efficient. We stayed on the train for 1 stop beyond Tokyo’s main station – taking us straight to Shinjuku – rather useful. The map for the hotel was not bad and the one time we had to head to a police koban (a cross between a small station and a police box) for directions, by the time we got there we could see the hotel. The rooms are small, but clean, though the bed is the only place large enough to open my case. There is no ‘Net connection (oh how I have to suffer), though with a wireless scan I did briefly pick up some one’s unprotected router, not long enough to abuse it though. Net result is that I’m typing this up to take to a cyber cafe – not bringing a pen drive with me is going to be a pain with transfering files – though this is to be rectified at Akihabara.
First meal over here would not have been possible in the UK. We found a small place doing set meals with grilled meats (mine was bacon, Dave’d was pork), along side a bowl of clear oxtail broth, some pickels, and some barley rice on to which you pour a raw beaten egg with some slivers of seaweed. It was very nice, though I know many who would have just left the egg. This was washed down with our first beer over here – a bad idea at the time considering how tired we were.
In the evening we were both still tired – as neither of us can sleep on planes, so the plan was to just have a walk towards Shinjuku station then to get some food. This turned in to a walk followed by a sit down at a cafe while watching the world go by as we were not yet hungry. Once we did move off we were hit by the problem that the Japanese tend to eat earlier than us in the evening, resulting in some interesting looking places being closed, but we still found a decent noodle bar to settle down in – oishii.
A final walk before heading back to the hotel found us in a couple of games arcades. The Taiko drum game was a tad boring after a while, not helped by the long instructions neither of us could understand. We had a try at a pitching/baseball alley on top of another arcade, god we sucked but it was fun. It was at this one that we found an air guitar game, silly fun, but a nice end to a tiring day.