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Tired in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Well this is our final stop of the trip! We arrived at the airport, chauffered by Mike, only to find that BA had overfilled the flight. Jane had woken up with a cold so wasn't really very impressed, but kept her cool and did the "but it's our honeymoon and we only have three days there". They had offered compensation to step off the flight, but we all know that Jane doesn't like things not going to plan. Luckily, we got on. However, once on it hit Jane that perhaps 600 euro per person was a rather large amount and could have paid off the mounting credit card debt.

However, we loved every minute of Tokyo and wished we had more time!

We were very very tired during the trip - Kristian particularly, which meant that unfortunately, Jane's dream of reenacting part of Lost in Translation (and in the process somehow morphing into Scarlett Johanssen) didn't happen - no crazy nights in Roppongi in crazy bars and karaoke. And if Kristian doesn't feel up to going to a bar after dinner, you KNOW he must be tired.

The people in Tokyo were SO friendly - I can't state this more. Not only helping if we were looking at a map puzzled, but doing so despite our lack of Japanese language skills (and lack of ability to consult a phrase book due to phrase book burnout), but going out of their way to find information for us.

We stayed in a lovely older style neighbourhood - called Ueno, right near a large park. We stayed in a traditional Japanese Inn, so got to experience the flat beds and, best of all, the hot Japanese baths! Jane wants one installed at once!

Jane was once again Queen of the Metro, and what a great system - so clean and efficient.

Everyone is very orderly in Japan - there are lines where you stand to queue up to board the train - no pushing and shoving. And no-one talks on their mobile on the train etc. Everything is explained A LOT - ie the whole train journey contains Japanese commentary that MUST have been saying more than just "the next stop is...." - we're not sure what though.

The one strange thing amongst all of this efficiency is the address system - there is none! Well none that is logical. There are no sequential street numbers. If you are lucky enough to have the street name phonetically spelt, the numbers are to do with the district, the block and the building - but the building numbers go in the order they were built! VERY annoying. We were SO proud of ourselves, when we found this particular Soba noodle restaurant - it was a little brown house amongst tall buildings and we only had a sketchy map - what an achievement.

The most fabulous find was that so many restaurants have those plastic replicas of food in their window. You see some in Chinatown in Melbourne, but it's EVERYWHERE in Japan. Jane wanted to bring a bowl of something home but they are actually very very expensive, so she settled for a couple of magnets!

We, of course, went to two Iron Chef restaurants and Jane giggled like a school girl when she got a Chen Kenichi souvenir pin! The view from Sakai's restaurant on the 32nd floor of the Cross Tower in Shibuya was fabulous!

We got up for the crazy fish markets, just missing the tuna auction - but still seeing the frozen bodies on the floor and the general craziness!

We really just wondered to different neighbourhoods in a daze, such as Ginza, Asakusa, Electric Town - we couldn't do the fabulous museums etc, or a day trip to Kyoto or anything really - but we loved it - the crazy shops, the Harajuku girls, the strange audio and visual assault amongst this orderly and polite place.

It really wasn't as crowded as we expected.

HIGHLIGHTS: Iron Chef restaurants, the food (!), Japanese baths, the people, the plastic food, the architecture.

LOWLIGHTS: The address system, being tired.

INTERESTING FACTS: When the Americans were present in Japan for awhile after the war, they tried to bring some logic to the address system, which was promptly removed when they left!

USELESS INFORMATION: Too tired to think of any!

permalink written by  JaneandKristian on October 23, 2007 from Tokyo, Japan
from the travel blog: Jane and Kristian's honeymoon
tagged Tokyo

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