Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tokyo: the tokyoning (part 2 of the thrilling Tokyo series)

Culture shock can be pretty full on. Tokyo was easily the hardest. I just felt uncomfortable from the moment I stepped off the subway platform and waited for Keir to save us.

We woke up the next morning, strewn around Keir's floor, parts of us on the bit of padding on his floor, others in most corners of his one room (note - one room... Not one bedroom) apartment. If I weren't so exhausted from the long flight I doubt I'd have slept much at all. Never the less, I was awake around 7am Tokyo time and waited around and Facebooked and reddited until Keir woke up and went to work.

I promptly got Erica moving and we spent some time deciding what to do with our day. It was our 2 month wedding anniversary, Erica's birthday and kinda sorta our honeymoon. We should probably make it special, right?!

Really, I was just uncomfortable, both physically and socially at Keir's place... But the above reasons really helped justify getting a hotel room. We figure around $300 per night for two nights was justified, Japan is notoriously expensive and it WAS a very special occasion. We booked a room at the okura hotel, somewhat within walking distance of Keir's place. We were just staying there two nights so we left the bulk of our stuff at Keir's.

We packed up and head out, roughly towards the hotel. We stopped for mediocre coffee and a decent lunch. We stopped in to a supermarket, which in hindsight probably shouldn't have surprised me when it was *just* like an Asian supermarket back home. We picked up some weird sushi shaped candy for a friend and an awful coffee-in-a-can and headed back out to check in to our hotel. "roughly walking distance" would have been a better description if it weren't directly uphill, and if a typhoon didn't show up half way through. The rain didn't seem so bad at first, we didn't bother stopping for umbrellas. 20 or so minutes later and we we were lugging our weight in water along with everything else. We stopped and picked up umbrellas despite the relative futility.

Rocking up at the Akura, we were greeted by bellboys and directed to reception. We dripped through the fancy lobby and a very helpful and enthusiastic lady showed us to our room, carefully pointing out the hair dryer.

This place was fancy. Much fancier then I anticipated. The mirror was heated so it wouldn't fog up. All the lights, the curtains, everything was controlled by a panel next to the bed. The mini bar had the most ludicrous prices I have ever seen in a hotel ever. In short, good times. 

We went out and hunted for dinner. We figured, Japan being such a culinary Nirvana that we'd have no problem. I don't know where we ended up but the first place we tried sent us away (or I think they did? They made weird hand gestures while looking angry and speaking japanese). The second place just said 'no English menu' over and over again so we just said 'beer' until they brought us some. 

We looked at a few other places but none looked English-friendly. The end result was hitting up a 7-eleven and eating the best damn microwaved meal of my life along with some fancy Japanese beers at our fancy hotel. The rain had gotten much stronger while we walked, glad at this point that we had those umbrellas. 

We watched the rain and enjoyed the space of our indulgent room away from all of the people we were growing accustomed to surround us. 

And that was day 1. 

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