Lost in Translation/Tokyo

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Arrived in Tokyo having had 0 hours sleep that night and on the back of a night bus the previous night so I had had little sleep. Did manage to see Mt Fuji popping out of the clouds from the plane though which ticked that box. I got to the airport, through immigration and I got my stamp, and am well and truely practised in the art of immigration card filling in and having my picture taken. Got to the baggage carousel and my bag came off, noticed that one of the pockets was open that had not been before I got on the plane, but nothing had been taken, but then I noticed a white powder in one of my other pockets everywhere. I did not know what this was and paniced but decided in my sound state of mind to go through customs as if everything was ok. Played it cool and got through with my heart beating and all sorts of crazy stories going through my head about backage handlers putting drugs in my bag, as several cases in the news in Australia claimed. This seemed like the only logical answer until I later slept and thought that it was the pocket I had had washing powder in whilst travelling Australia.

Had clear instructions to get to the hostel but got to the train station and was confronted with my first problem, everything is written in Japaneese and I do not speak Japaneese, decided I needed a coffee to pep me up and get me through it after some wandering about and question asking I got on the train. I first though of Japan was that it looked very much like the Picadilly line from Heathrow, very green and suburban. Then the coffee made me feel sick, probably mixed with the lack of sleep. Had to change train and managed it after some more question asking and finger crossing. Got to the station and successfully navigated my way to the Sakura Hostel, but because it was so early I could not check in. Went for a walk around the area and visit a temple near by and some gardens which were nice and an easy step in to a bit of Japaneese culture. Checked in and fell asleep straight away although jumped up 2 hours later in a sleepy haze and was sight seeing again before I had properly woken and new what was going on. Just played it cool for the rest of the day trying to get a grip.

After 13 hours sleep I was just about ready to go sightseeing again. Got on a boat and went round a very nice park and had a little lie down in the sun. Then planned to go to some entertainment district or something on a man made island. After an hour of walking around most of it being in an underground labarynth I returned back to the hostel. I refueled and went back out again and headed to the place with the big zebra crossing in all directions which was pretty cool and had a walk around admiring the neon.

After 12 hours sleep I headed off to visit the Imperial Palace and suffered from the same old story of struggling with my Japaneese, I managed to get there but did not really have a clue where the entrance or anything was, most parts seemed closed but headed to the East Gardens and admired some Japaneese architecture there which was nice. Then hopped on the train to the Shinjuku district which has all the sky scrapers and went up the Tokyo Metropolitain Government Tower to the top for free and took in sights of Tokyo although Tokyo does not seem to have any distinctive landmarks. Only spent 10 mins up there and headed back home.

Took a trip the following day to visit the Tokyo Edo Museum which is about the history of Tokyo, pretty boring and all in Japaneese so whizzed round and then went up to Akihabara, which is the electronics area. There are so many electrical goods it is unbelievable and puts Tottenham Court Rd to shame. Picked up some noise neutralisng headphones which was cool.

The next day was supposed to be a trip to Kyoto. I had my bus ticket booked and left the hostel with pleanty of time. The train took a little longer than I had anticipated but got to the train station the bus departed from with 30 mins to spare. It was not long enough. After walking on circles, visiting 3 bus stops, having to run around Tokyos biggest train station, going in the wrong direction, going to the subway station and not the overground station and taking a massive fall, I missed the bus by 3 minutes and being typical Japaneese, it had left on the dot. This had all taken place with my big back pack and smaller ruck sack whilst running in flip flops in very humid 30+ temps, I was sweaty through. I got to the front of the counter and after some gesturing I found there was not another bus today and that I would have to go the following day, fortunately I was not charged for this. Decided I had had enough of Japan for the day so ate a McDonalds and watched American crime shows all day.

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50,051 km (31,100 miles) traveled
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photo by: maka77