Dan in Japan: Day 1

18 hours, 2 planes, several subway trains and half a mile dragging a heavy suitcase through unfamiliar streets… I’m here!

What’s technically the shortest day I’ve ever experienced (as I’ve lost 9 hours of my day to time zones) feels like one of the longest. All I wanted to do was check in to my hotel, get some dinner and crash. So, after I’d checked in with all the people who INSISTED I let them know the minute I got here (for those I didn’t- the flights were good, the hotel’s nice, I didn’t get mugged:), you’ll be pleased to hear I did just that.

The area I’m staying in is pretty far off the tourist track so not the ideal place for a tired, hungry, emotional person who speaks very little Japanese to find food on his first night. In the more travelled places, the restaurants are ready with foreign menus and plastic food on display to make it easy for someone like myself to get fed. Unfortunately for me in my mission to save a few pounds on a hotel I’m clearly not in one of those areas.

To be honest, there was a real temptation to walk into one of these places and be done with it

But fortunately my will power was still strong even after 30 hours awake with barely a nap! I persevered and found… Plastic food! Menus with pictures! A button to press when you want the waiter! Perfect.

Now don’t get me wrong, this was far from the authentic Japanese dining experience (I have plenty of time to look for that tomorrow!). This was like the KFC of the noodle world, but for tonight, it was fine! All I needed was money to pay, a finger to point and my best “これ ください” and “ありがとう ございました” and the pork and nori ramen, egg rice and vegetable gyoza were mine.

Now I’m pretty confident that the coming days will be a little more exciting than tonight. Once I’ve mastered the subway, Tokyo is my oyster! My plan for tomorrow is to walk down to Asakusa, one of the main tourist spots and get this trip stated properly! For now though, night night.

Dan

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