Well this is unfortunate… the internet is down here at the hostel, at least for now. I’m writing this journal anyway in the hopes that I can post it tomorrow… Anyway, let’s start with the day we flew over.
April 5 and 6, 2012 – We left the hostel at 10:30 this morning to get to the Charles de Gaulle airport for our flight, which was scheduled for 1:40. The train ride, security and even boarding was easy, but it gets even better. The plane was so huge that the row directly behind the divide was empty, and I was able to steal one of the seats. That’s a 10-hour flight with more than enough leg room! The layover in Shanghai was boring and slow, but the second flight was quick (especially since I was asleep for most of the time!).
Once we landed in Tokyo we had to go through immigration and customs, which included filling out a few forms and giving our fingerprints and a picture. In between yawns and stretches, we got our luggage and train tickets to bring us from Narita to Ueno. It was another 15 minutes for us to walk to our hostel, the Okachimachi Station Hotel, and we passed out almost as soon as we got to the beds.
April 7, 2012 – It wasn’t until we woke up (or I should say, were awoken by the bright sun) that we realized just how tiny the rooms here were and how hungry we were. Luckily there was a 7-Eleven next door, and we each got some food for breakfast. We checked out shortly after that, since we were only staying at that hostel for the first night, and walked down to the subway station that brought us to our second and final hostel. This place seems much nicer (and the room is even slightly bigger) and after spending an hour charging our phones and cameras we decided to set out to Akihabara.
The subway ride was quick and easy, and when we got out at Akihabara… wow. This was definitely the Manhattan of Tokyo, with giant skyscrapers and crowded streets. The only difference is all of the color and billboards everywhere – it just seems like so much more than even Times Square has. Walking around, we were bombarded with bright lights and loud sounds, megaphones and stereos everywhere. There are “game” buildings that are multi-level arcades, sometimes two or three per block, which had constant beeping and ringing just adding to the wall of sound. We walked through a few of the stores but it was all so overwhelming… I don’t really remember everything about it. It’s really someplace I have to go back to again before we leave.
After we left Akihabara we took a nap, at which point we realized the wireless internet wasn’t working. And after our nap we walked to 7-Eleven and bought some food – rice balls with ham inside, to be specific – and ate our dinner in our own rooms. After that there wasn’t much to do… so I started writing this journal and then went to sleep. Good night!