Traipsing Through Tokyo

Above: …it was really good gyoza!

17/06/17

On arrival in Narita Airport, Japan, I could not have been happier to get off the plane… I absolutely love travelling, but sitting for 10 hours does nothing for my poor body! After making my way through customs (where the dehumidifier was not working) and following the crowd to the train station on the basement level, I finally was on the train to Tokyo. The Narita Express (N’EX) was a shiny white train, so shiny I couldn’t see out of the window for my reflection! With a limited view and tired eyes, I unfortunately didn’t get to see much of the “scenic” route into the city. 

But I did experience a slightly tame version of the sardine can trains! I’m glad it wasn’t rush hour, because it was cosy enough as we were let alone with more people… Crowds are not going to be the most enjoyable part of this trip, that’s for sure. I’m spending my first night in Japan on a futon, which is surprisingly comfortable! And tomorrow we should be getting out and about the city, so I’ll update this with more when I’m actually awake!

Below: Cool icicle patterns on the plane window as we were flying into Japan.

18/06/17

So today has been a draining day. After a decent night’s sleep followed by a 6am wake up, a group of us wandered down to the local 7/11 to grab coffee and breakfast. We ended up moving accomodation to a different house, one more appropriately sized for our Bible Week… and boy is this house amazing! An ex-Turkish diplomat’s house with semi-Western style and touches of traditional Japanese is our new home for a week, then back to the original apartment as we won’t need as much space then. I got really excited when I saw the room I’m sharing with two other girls, because not only is it big, but it has tatami mats, and a balcony! And futons! I’m super excited to be staying here.

After we sorted out our luggage and allocated rooms, we wandered out to find some lunch. The local train station (as most Tokyo train stations do) has a shopping centre in it, so of course we had to go there to get lunch! After fumbling through the ordering process, I finally got to sit down with a delicious cashew curry and an oolong iced tea, pictured below.

And yes, it tasted as amazing as it looks! Lunch was followed by some exploration in the shops and a trip to the supermarket for breakfast supplies and tea. I managed to find some loose chamomile tea, and almost cried from happiness! The pocky probably didn’t help either… The tiring part of the day was next; spending time with the kids… They’re lovely children, and we bonded over the Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, but it was exhausting. This was followed by further exploration for dinner – we found a tiny gyoza shop which was amazing, with the Japanese version of Radler or a shandy (beer with lemonade) – an epic quest for dessert which led to fish shaped pancakes, then back home.

Now this is a heavily condensed version of the actual events of the day, but it’s late and I’m tired and a friend who was supposed to arrive in Tokyo today hasn’t landed yet, so we’re waiting for him. I’m going to head to bed soon, sleep is catching me… But tomorrow is the first day of our Bible Week, so it should be fun!

~Tash

Above: Cashew curry!!!

Below: Half of our gyoza selection

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Dusting off the Passport

5:52am (ACST)…

I’ve been at the airport for almost an hour now, with most of that waiting to check in. Apparently some people have been having passport issues this morning, holding up the works… On the plus side, security took about a minute to zip through! Probably the shortest time I’ve ever spent in airport security. The only problem was I was left with plenty of time before boarding my plane, so I stopped by Muffin Break (best idea ever, thanks Adelaide Airport!) and almost cried with happiness; they had a fresh batch of gluten free banana choc chip muffins, I was so happy I almost bought two!

As I’m writing this, there’s maybe 6 or 7 other people at my gate, so it should a quiet first flight. I’m off to Melbourne first, then rushing through customs and switching terminals to get on my flight to Narita. I’m excited to get on the plane so I can try and sleep, apparently excitement mixed with stressing over having everything organised is not as conducive to a good night’s sleep as I hoped. 

I’m planning on adding to this post in Melbourne – if I have time – but if not, I’ll be in Japan by the time you read this!
8:50am (AEST)

Just power walked from one end of the domestic terminal to almost the opposite end of the international terminal at Melbourne airport! Automated passport checks do make life a lot easier though, and once again security was pretty fast. None of the water fountains are working, so I’ve had to buy a second bottle of water – a waste of money and plastic, but at least it’s cold! I’m waiting for the boarding call at the time of writing, and after getting a row to myself on the flight from Adelaide, I’m not looking forward to a potentially cramped trip…

But I’m almost there! Only 10 hours to go!

~Tash