So the Adventure Begins

Tokyo Travel Blog

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View from my balcony. In the center very far background, you can see a whiteness. That whiteness is Mt. Fuji!


After a nine and a half hour flight on Tuesday February 7th, 2007, otherwise what I like to call a “Valium Induced Coma” (thank god for the Valium!) I finally arrived in Tokyo. It was insane. As I walked through the airport heading to customs it was completely dead at 4:30pm. I was thinking to myself “Is this a joke? Where are all the people?” It was like a scene from a scary movie and I could have been brutally slain at any point. But fortunately that didn't happen. I walked through immigration where the agent was sleeping! I thought to myself, “Thank God no one is trying to kill me because this guy wouldn’t be much help.” I head down an escalator where to my great delight I saw a Starbucks. It was beautiful.


It was a 2 hour trip to my apartment in Keio Horinouchi, a suburb of Tokyo.

My apartment above Hard-Off.
Fortunately I had a rep from my company with me the whole way or I would still be trying to find my new home. The subways are incredibly crowded. People are literally smashed against the doors and windows! And yes people really do wear those white doctor’s masks, don’t even ask.


My apartment is great! My room is much bigger than I imagined and my roommates are wonderful. They’ve helped me a lot since I arrived. Also on a clear day I can see Mt. Fuji from my balcony!!! I live above a place called “Hard-Off.” Ha ha. “Well isn’t that special,” I thought to myself. Don’t get the wrong idea it’s just a used electronics store. The Japanese use quite strange English phrases for various things, such as “Hard-Off” or “Climax Sale.” I don’t think they know that these names are odd though.


I took it slow my first day and only ventured down the road to the train station where we also have a grocery store and a 100 yen shop.

My lovely bedroom. There are no windows, so I improvised.
100 yen shops are like Dollar stores accept for that they are amazing! They have EVERYTHING and the quality is pretty good. It can get crazy in there. My first trip to the grocery store was quite the experience. First, they play crazy loud obnoxious music, it’s hilarious. Second they literally have entire dead fish just lying around in buckets of water. I was thinking “Is this even sanitary?” Third, nothing is in English and the food is so different in every way so it’s kind of a crap shoot. You think to yourself “Is this milk or yogurt?” Plus, there is an entire isle of Soy Sauce (they call it “All Purpose Seasoning”). I know I’ll figure it out though. It was pretty overwhelming for my first day.




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View from my balcony. In the cente…
View from my balcony. In the cent…
My apartment above Hard-Off.
My apartment above Hard-Off.
My lovely bedroom. There are no wi…
My lovely bedroom. There are no w…
photo by: maka77