Gosh I had expected to be updating this blog a little more often but we have had a pretty full of few days in Japan so far. I have just arrived at Fukuoka this evening so I thought I would write a little bit about what I have been up to so far.
MONDAY 27.02.17 Danny and I boarded our plane to Tokyo and we were off! The flight itself was pretty uneventful - cheese crackers, fruit and yoghurt were the top plane eats.
Upon landing we made our way into Tokyo via the Kensei Skyliner and navigated our way to Kawasaki where we would spend our first night. The hostel we stayed at was On the Marks which was gorgeous and had a lovely eatery. The private room was a Japanese style room with a cubby for shoes by the door and then a step up into the living area which had a mattress on the floor. The bathroom was also japanese-esque with a toilet that we had to google instructions to use and a shower-bath.
We decided to have a ‘little nap’ and woke up 14 hours later, leaving our room a little after 5am in search of breakfast and adventure.
TUESDAY 28.02.17 We bought some delicious rolls and juice and wandered about - getting perhaps a little more lost than i was comfortable with but finding our way home in the end. My parents once told me when I wrote them a letter that I described the food more than anything else and i am finding that I definitely still lean this way so excuse the play-by-play on the food situation.
Shortly after this we packed up our belongings and scooted across town to our next destination, Emblem Hostel. After the sweet relief of dropping off our packs we walked around the local district - heading across the railway station over to the Nishiarai Daishi Temple which was beautiful. We wished we understood a little more Japanese at this point though as we were a little unsure with our explorations. When we next head back to Tokyo before we leave we are going to book in a walking tour at the Meiji-Jingu Temple which I am very excited about!
Emblem hostel has a very delicious cafe called “The Round” which we had lunch at and would definitely recommend - we had some chicken/salad/rice and a mexican dish. Super yum.
WEDNESDAY 01.03.17 Navigated our way to a very fancy part of Tokyo where we got our visa applications sorted. We then glided down this way and that to the shopping area in search of Harajuku guided only by my memories from 2006. Totally boded well, getting bit lost we climbed our way through a giant and very reflective mall to a rooftop Starbucks. More pudding than coffee but we enjoyed the sunshine and took lots of snaps of the view before winding our way back down. From here we went to Kiddie World (AMAZING) and very successfully touched everything and bought nothing, eventually we found Harajuku and wandered the street feeling overwhelmed and jumpy. We stopped at a food court where Danny had an omelette pancake thing and I had an Iskender kebab, also tried Melon Fanta (big thumbs up). We went in and out of shops and streets - Danny waited very patiently while I insisted on taking pictures of every bit of street art.
We beat the afternoon rush and trained back from Shinjuku, arriving at our hostel weary but happy. We decided to find some ‘proper japanese food’ for dinner…which we did, unfortunately we didn’t speak enough Japanese and there menus had nothing we could point to so we ended up eating at a brand new Indian restaurant. It was not that splendid but the staff were sweet and the experience still good.
THURSDAY 02.03.17 It rained rather conveniently so we slept in before taking the Tobu Skytree line over to the Tokyo Skytree. Top travel tip: you want to pick the rainy day to go here so that when you take the elevator to 650 metres up your view is the same as it was from the ground. Stunning! The elevator itself was a beaut though, the one we took was decorated for Spring! We also found out that they were having a disco there the following day and we were heartbroken we had timed it so poorly. Our bellbottoms would have to rest for another time.
We found a lovely Udon restaurant for lunch and after eating two delicious bowls of hot udon we headed back to the Emblem. We picked up some cheese and crackers for dinner in which was an excellent choice after a long day but could have done with a nice Pinot Gris. We did look at the supermarket but the only varieties of wine on offer were “Red” or “White” so we bought some “Lemongina” instead, which was nice despite the name.
FRIDAY 03.03.17 We returned to Tokyo Skytree the next day to go to the Planetarium there - a first for both of us - amusingly we were watching a show set in New Zealand. Afterwards we had a little lunch and then went to the Moomin Cafe! Moomin was a childhood favourite so Danny very kindly indulged me by having pudding there and didn’t even complain when a giant Snufkin was seated next to him moments later followed by a Moomin Papa hat being placed on Danny’s head. Bless.
After this we adventured into Tokyo starting at Ueno Station, making our way to the Sensoji Temple, then checking out the shopping in Ginza and eventually making our way to Tokyo Disneyland.
We kind of forgot it was Friday so we were joined by zillions of other people (mostly Tokyo teens and domestic travellers) as we watched the parade, did a few rides and watched the most badass projection of a Frozen story onto Cinderella’s Castle. We were by no means the eldest there so it was fine. It was midnight by the time we got home, our longest day but a great one!
SATURDAY 04.03.17 On Saturday morning I packed up all of my things and Danny walked me to the Nishiarai Station where I caught a train to Ueno Station, and on to Narita Airport via the Kensei Skyliner. I flew out from Narita Airport with Jetstar own to Fukuoka, where I caught a subway line and two trains out to Ikisan Station.
I stepped out of the train and once the train rumbled away, for the first time in a week, the world was quiet.