Day One--Minneapolis to Tokyo
Tokyo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 12 › view all entries
After being awake for over twenty four hours, we finally arrived in Tokyo! The plane ride was incredibly long, nearly thirteen hours to be exact! But it was relatively comfortable and there were good movies playing on the personal video screens which helped pass the time. Getting through customs took awhile because there was a huge line, but then they opened another section and we got through pretty quickly. It was a really interesting experience though because they took your fingerprints and photo! However, as far as customs officials go, the Japanese ones were the most pleasant and most polite I’ve ever encountered! I can already tell it will be a real pain in comparison when we arrive back in Chicago! It was also kind of funny how many different forms needed to be filled out--customs forms, JR pass forms, Currency exchange forms, etc.
Our first taste of the city came after we’d gotten off the long train ride from Narita airport to Shinjuku station. It was really difficult and confusing to try to find our way through the station and to the proper exit in order to catch the shuttle bus that would take us to our hotel! Eventually we prevailed and finally got to the hotel.
Nadean and I were rooming together and we practically ran up to our room to jump into bed and go to sleep, but we were dismayed to find that Japanese beds, even the western styled ones, are much different than the ones we were used to! Usually in hotels they have huge down feathered pillows that are incredibly soft and comfortable and the beds are relatively soft as well. Not here. There was only one pillow on each bed and it was the hardest pillow I’ve ever had the misfortune of sleeping on! It was filled with something that felt like beans or small pebbles! The mattress was also really hard! I had to bunch up my sweatshirts and sleep on them in order to not wake up with a sore neck!
Disappointed by the bed, I took a much needed shower and then paid a visit to the vending machine near the elevators which had juice boxes! That was really amusing! Both Nadean and I got juice boxes and then sat in our room for a little while in our Yukatas (Japanese bathrobes or pajamas) and thought it was kind of funny to be spending our first night in Tokyo in such fashion.