11.10.2008

Sayonara!

I'm off to Tokyo tomorrow! I've filled my wallet with yen, read the travel books, and stocked up on protein bars for the flight. I even set the roster for my fantasy football team for next week. You can't lose if you don't play, right? All that's left is to pack the bags, and I'm ready for my first trip to Asia.

Intimidating:
- 14 hour flight in coach on a full plane - ARGH!
- 24 hour door-to-door travel
- Jet lag
- Finding ATMs that take western cards
- Not speaking Japanese - hopefully 'please', 'thank you' and lots of bowing will get me through
- Food - I've never much enjoyed Japanese food here in America, but I might feel differently when I try the real deal. If nothing else, I can have soba (noodles) and yakitori (chicken on a stick).
- Shinjuku station: 3.6 million people pass through each day. There are 65 exits. And I'm supposed to figure this out.
- Japanese toilets - I've heard stories. I'll leave it at that.

Exciting:
- Mt. Fuji!!! Hopefully, I'll have a clear morning and be able to get a view from the Metropolitan Government Building.
- Kamakura to see the great Buddha
- Meiji Jingu Shrine
- Japanese gardens - I'm hoping for fall color, but I may be a notch early.
- The Shibuya scramble and the statue of Hachiko
- Seeing the crazy Japanese street fashion in Harajuku and checking out the high end shopping in Ginza
- Attending a traditional tea ceremony
- Sushi for breakfast at the Tsukiji fish market (this might go under intimidating, we'll see)
- Jazz clubs (Blue Note Tokyo, Shinjuku Pit Inn, Harajuku Keynote)

Sayonara! I'll be back next week with stories and pictures (assuming I can find my way out of Shinjuku station).

3 comments:

Bevlove said...

I can't wait to hear all about your trip and especially see your pictures.

I'm sure the toilets are very much like the toilets in China ... and yep, I do have a picture.

Toyoki said...

Re Japanese toilets. Do what I did -- use the handicapped toilets! No pictures of the "squat 'n leave 'em" experience, please!

Kat said...

Hun Tokyo is used to tourists, you'll be okay! be super polite.. as in, use arigatou gozaimasu rather than just arigatou! They love it when you try!

Look for Hachiko's exit at Shinjuku! there's a dog statue there.. as Hachiko was a dog who waited for his master for 10 years at the station, because he walked him to work every day and then one day his owner died, but he continued to wait for him.

Have an awesome time. I love Japan.