: ( 4.6 ) (
62 votes )
Feb 16, 2004 18:03
fascinating place, many things to do and see, friendly locals
Arrived in Tokyo on Valentine`s Day. At the airport, Chris and I
were stood in front of the ticket machine for the train for about
10 minutes. We`d worked out how much we had to pay we just didn`t
know how to make the amount come up on the machine. Eventually this
lovely lady helped us and ended up virtually delivering us to our
hostel - she even gave us her phone number and a phone card in case
we needed her in an emergency. What a welcome!
We were booked into a ryokan (traditional guest house) in Ikebukuro.
You arrive and have to leave your shoes in a special cupboard in
the entrance way. The rooms have low futon style mattresses which
are lovely and comfortable and big thick quilts - very useful as
Tokyo is the coldest place we`ve been. You also get given a dressing
The day after we arrived we checked out a few of the main shopping
areas. Everything is a bit pricey but it`s great for people watching
and everybody is very trendy/ well turned out. We ended a day of
walking around with a trip to the 43rd floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan
Government Offices where you get an amzing 360 degree view of Tokyo
- it`s an enormous city. Plus we got a bonus ball of being able
to see Mount Fuji in the distance. That night, Matt arrived from
HK, so we went out to eat with him and played cards at the hostel.
The following day we hooked up with Martin and Harriet for lunch
- they leave for India soon so it was our final rendez-vous. The
5 of us then went to a nearby temple where we all paid 100 Yen (50
pence) for a fortune stick thing. You shake out a stick and it corresponds
to a fortune - if you get a good one you keep it and if it`s bad,
you tie it to a special tree and it hopefully doesn`t come true.
Needless to say, Chris and I got bad ones and everybody else`s were
okay. After saying our goodbyes to M & H, the 3 of us went in
to Ginza to search out the Apple Store for Ipod accessories for
Chris. After walking around for ages, and nearly giving up, we finally
found it and Chris was in Ipod heaven.