Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tokyo Day 1

December 28, 2009, 2:00pm Tokyo Time (December 27, 11:00pm CDT): If the flight to Amsterdam was everything that sucks about air travel (bad food, bad sleep, etc.), the flight to Tokyo was everything that’s decent about it. Upon getting onto the plane, I passed out immediately in my exit row window seat (huge leg room). I slept for about an hour, and upon waking up, got some food and took a sleeping pill, which allowed me to pass out again for awhile. Woke up about 5 hours later to find them giving out hot noodles, which was definitely the best non-Business Class airline food I’ve ever had. Passed out for another 3 hours, then got up in time for breakfast (yogurt, fruit, and a roll, with scrambled eggs that I stayed away from). After that, I just hung out for the next 1.5 hours or so before landing. After we landed, we were very relieved to find that our bags had made it through to Tokyo, and we got through customs real quick. We then took the train to Dan’s grandma’s condo, and there was quite a bit of good scenery along the way. I drank my first Japanese Sake immediately after boarding, which was quite nice. The train ride was about 1 hour and 15 minutes to Shinjuku, from where we transferred to another train. Transferred at Shinjuku station, which I later found out is the busiest train station in the world. After a very long local train, which stopped at every stop from Tokyo to here, we got to Aiko-Ichida train station. Having very little idea of where to go, we sort of just wung it, and ended up walking around for about 20 minutes (with about 80 pounds of luggage, mind you) until we found the place. Arrived at the condo, took a shower, looked around a bit, then went out for some dinner. We ate at a noodle bar, and when the owner (who spoke very little English) asked where we were from, he promptly replied “OHHHH, CHICAGO CUBS!!! FUKUDOME KOSUKE!!!”. Pretty warm welcome if you ask me. Anyway, after that, we decided to take the train back down to Shinjuku, which, in addition to being a huge train station, is in a pretty interesting part of Tokyo. Mulled around there for a couple hours, got turned around once, ate at another noodle bar (this time they were cold noodles, but still fine), then headed back to Aiko-Ichida around midnight. Got back and watched some ridiculous Japanese reality TV show with women wearing very little clothing and a guy in a crazy wig. Also, Japanese commercials are ridiculous, just tons of crazy stuff going on.

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