Jackie O. in Tokyo

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
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Trip End May 13, 2010


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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Thursday, December 31, 2009

I am currently in Singapore, having successfully traveled through Japan, however I did not have time to post while in Tokyo as my time there was limited. Here is a recap of events. After my slight hiccup in Atlanta missing my original flight, I made it to Japan without a problem (unless you count not being able to sleep on the 16 hour flight a problem) and made it to my hotel around 7pm. The girl I stayed with, Lauren, is a Japanese major, so she was able to get me around the city really well, as I couldn't read a sign or really talk to anyone in most areas. That night, we went out for a little bit to celebrate the New Year and came home early to get some sleep.

My first full day in Tokyo was spent in Roppongi Hills, which is a shopping area. They had a lovely garden, view of the city, interesting art and we saw the movie theater. Movie tickets there are 1800 yen, which is basically twenty dollars! Then we took the train to Shibuya, a district in Tokyo (we stayed in Akasaka, which is more of a business district than a touristy one because it was cheaper) and roamed the area there. We spent most of our time window shopping and looking at street vendors. That night we went out to get some Yakiniku- which is a really interesting meal. They serve you raw meat that is prepared and cut for you and they give you a mini-grill that sits on your table and you cook the meat yourself! Every table has an exhaust fan so that the smoke doesn't bother other customers. It was an interesting experience, and one of the most delicious meals I've ever had. The spices they used in preparation were delicious and while I'm not sure exactly what kind of meat we ordered (we pointed at pictures that looked good), I'm fairly certain it was high quality.

On Saturday we slept in late, and then went to the Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. We took the train to get there and walked through a lovely park. I thought that the shine would be a quiet, almost empty place, but I could not have been more wrong. The place was mobbed with people, and it took almost an hour just to get into the front gate where we were herded like cattle to the main building. Once inside, we were guided to the main building where people threw coins to a giant basin and said their prayers and then found a way out. It was definitely not what I was expecting, but it was an interesting experience all the same.

Afterward, we headed to Tokyo Tower- which is basically the Eiffel Tower, just a bit taller, so that it could be named the tallest free standing structure in the world. It's really only 333m tall, so I have been on taller buildings (the World Trade Center was 442m tall) but it was still really pretty and a fun tourist attraction. I was also able to see fireworks going off over the water somewhere else in the city from the Tower.

On Sunday, we went to the Pokemon Center in Tokyo. A little lame, but being in Japan, I thought it necessary. Our directions there were really bad, and we couldn't take a taxi because the roads were closed off for a huge marathon, so we ended up walking around for a few hours. We had lunch in this cute little store where you walk in, put money in a vending machine, pick your meal, sit down and then the waitresses brings you whatever it was you ordered. Interesting concept, and actually quite delicious. When the race finally ended, we were then able to get a taxi to the store, which was also mobbed with people.

After that we ended up going back to Tokyo Tower because they had museums and other things to do inside that were closed when we went the previous night. We went to a wax museum and did purikura- which is like a photo booth on crack. There are two stations. One where you take the photos- about 8 or them- and it's in an entire room, and then another where you add decals to them. Hearts, sparkles, flowers, cartoon pandas, anything you can think of, they have it, and then it prints on sticker paper. Very overwhelming, but fun. :D

Monday I flew out to Singapore, so I didn't do any sightseeing then. I crammed a lot into my short stay, and experienced about all that I could while there. Unfortunately, the only thing I learned to say was "thank you", despite Lauren's attempts to teach me more.

So, all that I have to say is, "arigatou gozaimasu" for reading, and I will post more soon.


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Comments

Aunt Judy Mc on

This was an excellent blog maybe your career is going to be aTravel Blog writer very exciting writing I felt I was with you all the way Keep blogging Love U

Aunt Kathleen on

Tokyo blog very nice. Arigato and XOX. Auntie

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