Kon’nichiwa Japan!

We have successfully made it to Tokyo, the largest city in the world.  We arrived yesterday and took a bus without issue into the Akasaka neighborhood where Lynn rented us an AirBnB.  It turns out the reputation for small Tokyo apartments is very apt; we have a 15 ft x 15 ft room with a bed, bathroom, and “kitchen” all combined.  Thanks to jet lag, we were exhausted, went out to an early dinner of sushi and then promptly to bed at 6.30 pm – don’t judge.

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Today, however, was a full day starting with waking up at 1 am and not being able to fall back asleep.  At 4 am we finally gave up and decided to hit the tuna auction at the Tsukiji Fish market.  We got dressed, took and Uber (learned the Japanese word for tuna, maguro) and showed up just in time to find out that there were no more spots at the auction for today.  Turns out 4:30 am is about an hour and a half too late, so we will try again tomorrow.

With the whole, empty city before us we started a very, very long walk across the city to the Shinjuku National Gardens where we found out 7 am was way too early and the park didn’t open for another 2 hours.  (Yes, you read that right, we walked for 2.5 hours to get there).  Exhausted, we returned to our room for a nap.

At 11 a.m., we ventured out for Gerard Day Part 2. We walked to the central Tokyo station to retrieve our JR Rail Passes that we will be using to get ourselves around the rest of the country. Then we ate ramen on Ramen Street in the station. A lovely couple helped us use the ticket machine to place our order. You would think it wouldn’t be that hard, but you know Japanese characters and all…

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Next on our day’s agenda was visiting one of the most stereotypical Japanese areas of the city, Akihabara – known for its manga, anime, and maid bars. While we are not into any of these things we found great pleasure in learning that there is a game called “Sexy Beach.” We still don’t know how you would play such a game.

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Finally we went to one act of the Kabuki play, “Troubles with the Diet Clan.” This particular play was very dialogue-driven, so not speaking Japanese made for a very long 1.5 hrs. We think it was about a mother and 2 aunts fighting what was best for a little empress. And at one point there was a ninja. But the costumes were cool to see and the experience memorable.

Tomorrow we will try for both the tuna auction and gardens again!

First Impressions of Japan (Second for Lynn): It’s very clean. There are vending machines literally everywhere. And they love Tommy Lee Jones. This seems to be a good place for an introduction to Asia since the people are very friendly and most signs are also in English.

Fun Daily Facts: Doug got yelled at by a policeman for jaywalking and Lynn got pooped on by a bird in her hair.

Daily Walking Count: 17 miles

 

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