As I’m writing this it is technically Saturday at 12:33 am and even though I took off from Barcelona on Thursday morning, I ended up landing in Tokyo on Friday morning due to the time difference.
The in-flight food sucked and it was pretty uncomfortable in terms of the air circulation and the seats being really tight together. But, all in all we made it even when we had ten minutes to go through a very disorganized security check during our connection flight from Moscow to Tokyo.
When we did make it to Tokyo, it was a rush! People, sounds, smells, ancient and modern buildings all at once. We stopped into a nearby restaurant for some REAL food. The system was really interesting and efficient because you had to insert money into a machine and select the plates of food you wanted with physical buttons and then it would print out the order and you would give it to an employee to get the order for you. Shazam, your receipt, change and food is there and you can leave whenever you are done eating.
At the temple there was an area where people would burn inscent type sticks and waft the smoke over their bodies as a form of blessing or good luck. There were also locker type walls bordering the temple where you would insert money and take a can and shake it when, you turn it over a fortune would fall out of it just for you. It’s the more traditional way instead of a fortune cookie…
First we popped into this tower arcade. The car racing lured us in, but as we found more floors of games we ended up taking out more money than expected and even learned how to play in a battle with some other random Japanese gamers! We lost… But it was still a blast!
We found some traditional noodle bars and other Japanese restaurants.
After being inspired through our favorite travel man, Anthony Bourdain, we went on a search for these local bars that we saw him go into on his journey to Tokyo. These places only seat about 8 people at most and it is very intimate. You would most likely see people getting a drink there after work.
We found a few streets with these bars and decided to go up into one that said it had jazz. It was just us two Americans with about five other Japanese people drinking some beer and listening to some jazz CDs that the bartender/DJ was putting on from the hundreds of CDs he had built into the wall.
It was pure magic. We then walked all the way to Shibuya, but we decided that area is better for the day time since it is more of a shopping district. We figured out the subway system and made our way back to our hostel- packed literally like sardines in a can while in the subway train (no big deal, at least I didn’t need to hold on).
~ M + H