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Tokyo: first impressions

Let’s get something out of the way up front: my phone doesn’t work! Thank God for wifi! I was warned that this might happen, so I’m not too disconcerted. I use WhatsApp over wifi to text my daughter, which beats the telcos at their own game. Friends stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, this blog or email.

Tokyo is clean, ordered, and much less crowded and busy than I expected. It’s certainly a pedestrian and bike friendly city. Traffic flows smoothly… there are no traffic jams that I could see. The air is crystal clear and fresh. For some reason I expected smog, but was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not the case.

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Lots of greenery in this area, and I stumbled on a shrine about 300m up the road from the hotel, which was a peaceful respite from not much hubbub. Lots of eateries and stores dot the main roads accompanied by big department stores. There’s a 7/11 up the road which is handy, because that where I can access an ATM and a reasonable wine and sushi selection.

I liked the airport: it was organised and made sense. Big fan of organised airports, full stop. Exits were colour coded, which was very helpful. And it was an easy exit process through customs, even though I was fingerprinted and quizzed about my itinerary while I’m here.

I’m staying in Shinjuku, a couple of kilometres away from one of the busiest train stations in the world. I walked past there earlier and could see swarms of people entering and exiting the station. I’m going to get my guide to give me an in-service, but I’m assured it’s easy peasy.

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I’m waiting patiently to check in, which I can’t until 1pm. Apparently the Japanese are fastidious sticklers about check in times. After 21 hours travelling, I am desperate for a shower and a change of clothes, though. Singapore Airlines came through for me again, and my bag was one of the first off the plane. I’m always super happy to see my bag after Qantas and China in 2011.

Tomorrow morning, I’m doing a tour of Tokyo, and then tomorrow night, I’m off to the Golden Gai district here in Shinjuku. Then it’s a day of leisure before heading off to Mt Fuji (fingers crossed it will be clear, but it probably won’t be) and the day after, I have my private guide. Then that’s nearly a week gone…!

2 Comments

  • yogacatie April 14, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Happy travels! You reminded me of the great time I had in Japan last summer, and the confusing toilets! (http://theapproximateyogi.com/2013/08/06/travelogue-japan/ if you want to read about it). Mt. Fuji is magnificent 🙂

    Reply
    • dileeshus April 15, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Thanks Catie! I’m going to My Fuji on Thursday… really looking forward to it. I have a feeling that 3 weeks won’t be enough!

      Reply

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