GREETINGS from Tokyo! Please excuse any strange typing but I am on a coin operated computer in the lobby of the Shibuya Excel Hotel, the keyboard is in Japanese, and I can barely figure out how to enter text !
We arrived in Tokyo yesterday after a blissful flight in JAL first class. The sleeper seats make all the difference in the world – the dang thing was larger than my cubicle at the office! After collecting our luggage and clearing immigration and customs, we exchanges money and found the limo bus, which might have been slightly slower than the train but delivered us non stop to the hotel door in about an hour and a half. We were WORTHLESS at that point and crashed as soon as we found our room.
I am not sure how much either of us slept, but we were awake at 6 this morning so we ventured across the street to STARBUCKS, which is expectedly the same as in the US though with about no English. We walked around the hotel neighborhood for a bit and then decided to try to find the train station where we will depart tomorrow. This turned out to be quite and ordeal because 1) no one speaks English, 2) we don:t speak Japanese, 3) the only way to buy tickets seems to be from machines that are in Japanese. We finally found one with English, but you need to know what fare to purchase, and of course the map on which this needs to be calculated is in … Japanese.
After a lot of aimless wandering we finally found an office with a person who we finally found an office with a person who didn:t speak English but could understand our pointing and grunting enough to get us a ticket to where we needed to go. THEN we got there and purchased tickets for tomorrow, although only as far as Nagano because the local train tickets cant be purchased until there. Homefully we will be able to pint and grunt our way through that transaction as well, but we are leaving EARLY in the morning so we have plenty of time.
As part of our wandering today, we accidentally happened upon the Imperial Palace, as well as a building that looks remarkably Imperial Palace, as well as a building that looks remarkably like the Cook County Courthouse…
We are both completely obsessed with Shibuya Square (see the twitterstream for a picture shibuya Square (see the twitterstream for a picture). Pictures dont even do the people density justice !