Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tokyo, Japan Trip Sept 2017 Part 1

[Delayed post back from September when I visited Esteban in Japan...]

Hello, world! Or, konnichiwa! I just returned from one jam-packed sightseeing week in Japan and can't wait to recount my experiences there. To tell the truth, I came back to LA and have been waking up early (4 or 5 am each day) due to jetlag. It's been so hard this week getting over my jetlag and trying to work.  I got back around 6:30 pm PST on Sunday after a nauseating 10 hour flight and my shuttle never arrive so I ended up walking to get my car, which really tired me out (Airport Express is a terrible terrible shuttle service!!!). Getting back last night, I went to bed aroud 10:30 pm and was hoping I'd just sleep until 7 or 8 am when I have to get up for work. Ah well, hope I can function today at work, lol.

Anyhow, I went to Tokyo last week because my Esteban was there for work for three weeks. His second week there was more free for sightseeing activities, so I went over during that time. Buying my tickets last minute, I got a pretty decent price flight for a direct flight to Haneda airport: about $800 something after taxes and fees. The flight was on Japan Airlines, operated by American Airlines. I left Friday night September 16, arrived Saturday night September 17, and then left Monday September 26 at 1 am to arrive back in LA on Sunday Sept 25. It's cool; it's like traveling in time. Most of the time I was there, it was raining because Japan was being hit by a typhoon. Luckily, Tokyo was not hit by the worst of it, but it did make for some lousy weather and drab photos. Nevertheless, Tokyo was a blast. Below is a preview of things I did the first three days:

Friday, September 16
Fly from LAX to Haneda Airport, 10-11 hour flight on Japan Airlines.
Extensive movie list. Crappy American style food.
 Saturday, September 17
Arrived in Tokyo around 10 pm and went to sleep (stayed at the Tokyo Dome Hotel). First time taking the Japanese subway. Pretty cool.
Get a PASMO card to use all over the Tokyo subway and train system. Easy to use and recharge!
Sunday, September 18
Went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Edmont Hotel. First shopping experience at Family mart.
But a small preview of the awesome food and drinks for sale at Family Mart! Awesome convenience store.

Took the train to Asakusa, famous for its Senso-ji Temple, a Buddhist temple with (I think) the largest red lantern in the world, and for its shopping streets.
Sensoji Temple
Esteban and I wandering the streets of Asakusa, looking for some good deals!

Eating some izakaya (Japanese small plates) in Asakusa
We then wandered to Akihabara, which was said to be known as the place that sells a bunch of home and electronics good, and a center for anime and manga items. I did not see that much anime and manga stuff, but it was an interesting street of shopping, including some fresh food and fish vendors. Next to Akihabara is Ueno Park, which is a massive park that houses some temples and museums including the Tokyo National Museum and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art. We did not make it far into the park before we headed home.

Fields of lilies near Shinobazunoike Bentendo
Vending machines in Tokyo are legendary! For less than 200 yen you can get coffees, teas, waters, energy drinks, ice cream, and snacks. They are always within less than 1 block of one another!
Returning back to the hotel, we went for dinner at a random ramen shop nearby. A great hole in the wall.  It was called Ramen Tanaka and was my favorite ramen of all the places we went to in Tokyo.
Vending machine to put in your order. We can't read any of it, lol, but luckily there were some photos to help us out. Ticket comes out and you give it to the guy working.

Delivious pork ramen with nori and a cute egg! Superb!

The next days of adventuring in Japan will be dispersed between the occasional food posts. Stay tuned!

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