Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tokyo Part1

This is part 1 because we are heading back to Tokyo at the end of our trip.

We got off the plane and we were happy to see our bags again even if mine was the last one (-photo). We were checked into the country and out of the airport in about 20 minutes which was super fast! Emma went to the toilet while I got cash out and she had the largest grin when she came out. She amazed by all the gadgets on the toilet which included heated seat and a button to mimic the noise of a flush so no one can hear you going!!

We exchanged the ticket we bought in New Zealand and received our 14 day Japanese rail pass (it's for tourists and can only be bought outside of Japan).

We got on a train and headed for Tokyo! When we were on the train we realised we hadn't taken the best route into Tokyo, but never mind. We got off the train at basement level 5! After a bit of where do we go/what shall we do we decided to head on the underground which was color and number coded so pretty easy but it was rush hour so was very busy! A few people stopped to ask if we needed any help which has been the case a few times so far! The Japanese are definitely helpful!

We found our hostel easily and decided to head to Ueno park as we were pretty whacked so needed a gentler introduction to Tokyo!! Ameyoko Market was nearby so we had some lunch. It was pretty cold so we bought a can of hot tea from one of the hundreds of vending machines in the area!

Some vending machines sell beer and have a sign saying not for under 20s. With no one monitoring it I don't think the kids if Britain would adhere to the rules!!

The park had a few cherry blossom trees that were in bloom and some that were bare. We went to the 'Tokyo National Museum' which was pretty good. It had some really old cool paintings, body armour, swords etc.

As we were walking back to the train station we found the best thing every traveller would love to see... A 100Yen shop!! At 72pence that beats the British pound shops and the New Zealand and Australia $2 shops! We stocked up on massive chocolate pancakes (breakfast) and snacks.

We stayed local for dinner so headed down the street. We chose somewhere where you select your meal and pay at a vending machine and then take your ticket to the chef! 5 minutes later our noodle soup and beer was ready!! There are lots of these around and they're cheap at about £4 a meal.

We got a 7/11 ham and egg sandwich for breakfast (+ a donut) and headed to Ginza the next day.

We started at the Sony showroom in the Sony building. It was amazing! It started off with 3D televisisons, then I played 3D wipeout which was brilliant. You have to wear glasses but I don't think you can ever get around that! We had a play around with some other gadgets.

We walked across the famous Ginza Yon-chrome crossing which wasn't as big or as busy as the crossing right next to it!!

We then headed to Shibuya which was busy with shoppers. We stopped and watch the businessmen on lunch at Pachinko parlours. Which is like pinball only they have hundreds of steel balls. It's very strange but it's a national pass time apparently!

There are also lots of arcade games which are always packed with people, so very stereotypical there!

We were again knackered after a long day so went to eat at another vending machine place by us which was very nice again!!

We woke up early on Saturday to find it wet and cold again! Oh well! On our way home the night before we discovered a famous temple which is a hot tourist spot so we headed for that. Being Saturday it was rammed but we found a place to buy a Tokyo fridge magnet!! One thing we're looking forward to doing at home is putting all our fridge magnets on our fridge!!

We then attempted to go to the sumo museum, but after a long walk we arrived to find it closed!! Deciding to head to something that was based more indoors we went to Akihabara, the electronics district. The best part about this area was the Sega Worlds, huge buildings full of video games and grabber machines. You can win absolutely anything in their grabber machines, including diet pills and pillows that were far to big ever to fit through the drop hole even if you did manage to pick it up!! Some people were winning things though, although I'm not sure I'd want to, as on winning a crazy Japanese man would run up to the person shouting and banging his tambourine! Another funny site was the huge crowd of kids around a very geeky looking guy playing a shooting zombies game. The guy was taking it so seriously that he'd paid for both guns and was player 1 and 2! He kept cocking the guns as if they were real. We got the feeling he spent a bit too much time in Sega World and not the real world!

We rounded off our evening with sushi! We went to a sushi-go-round, where the plates of food are on a moving convayerbelt and you just take what you want (colour coded dishes so you know the price) or order something if you prefer. I loved it (well everything apart from the cod roe!), Kris did try everything but I don't think he'll ever be a sushi fan! I think the worse part for him was his raw tuna roll with alot of wasabi (tastes like mustard)! I really enjoyed it though, although I'm not sure I'd go for sushi at home, each dish here was only £1 so I was happy to try anything!!

Before we got to Japan we were worried that it was going to be too expensive. When we were telling people we were going to Japan their first words are expensive! The accommodation isn't too bad and meals are affordable so far!

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