Jet lag has got me up and wired at 3:30AM, Tokyo time. So, instead of tossing and turning, I’ll resort to blogging about our full day exploring Tokyo.
After our flight, we had another hour and a half until we reached our hotel. I slept the entire bus ride. (Even though business class seats allow you to recline, I have way too much anxiety to ever fall asleep on a plane). So, I was more than ready to pass out once we reached the hotel.
In the morning, we lounged around a bit until breakfast opened up. The one thing that we all have in common is that when we wake up, we want food. So, we thought we were pretty early when we made our way down to the lobby around 6:30. But, there was a massive line of people waiting for breakfast too. So crazy!
I was amazed at how many people were up and ready for the day. But, breakfast was nothing compared to what we saw when we left the hotel.
We were going on a Cherry Blossom Tour and had plans to meet up with the guide and everyone else in the group near Tokyo Station at the JP Tower. We walked to the metro station (which was only a few blocks from our hotel).
Inside the station, everyone was awake, alert, in black business suits, and walking with purpose. Granted it was a work day and right in the middle of the morning commute. But MAN, there were just SO. MANY. People. I have never seen anything like it. The NYC subway stations look so spacious compared to this.
The tour guide later told us that Tokyo Station wasn’t even the largest used station in Tokyo. The #1 largest station was the Shinjiku Station – which was used 3.6 million times EACH day. C-r-a-z-y.
Our tour guide’s name was Take. He told us it was easy to remember because it rhymed with Sake. He’s going to be our tour guide for today too when we explore Mount Fuji and the hot springs.
He took us to Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden, where we got to see hundreds and hundreds of cherry blossoms (75 different species!).
And also hundreds and hundreds of selfie sticks.
After we explored for a bit, we got back in the bus and he took us to Tokyo Tower where we got to see some pretty fabulous views of the city.
They had a glass window on the floor that allowed us to look down. But I pretty much avoided it because it made me all sorts of nervous. (If you haven’t gathered yet, I really like being ON THE GROUND).
After the tower, we walked over to a Buddhist temple. It was closed for renovation, so we just tried to sneak a peek through the windows and walked around the monk quarters.
Then, it was lunch time. And, just as I had suspected, I ate rice and soy sauce. I felt really un-adventurous. But I just can’t eat things that wiggle. I’m down to try wiggly vegetarian things. But it makes me queasy to try wiggly things that were once alive.
After lunch, we stopped to see more Cherry Blossoms and walked through a street fair where they were selling some more wiggly things. (I’m not uncultured. I promise).
Can’t go wrong with ice cream though. So I didn’t turn that down. They had a cherry blossom flavor (!) but we stuck to our traditional chocolate/vanilla swirl. (Mainly because I was hungry and didn’t want to risk not liking something).
By the time we got back to the hotel, I was STARVING. Luckily, we have the best family who packs us food for DAYS and knows that I probably won’t eat the food here.
We had plans to go to dinner, but since we were walking all day and extremely jet lagged, we ended up falling asleep at 6PM. (Hence the 3:30AM wake-up time).
Overall, our first day was pretty decent. I’m not going to lie and say I LOVED every second of it. The cherry blossoms were gorgeous and I’m really grateful for my company and my experience. But, I was a little overstimulated by the amount of activity and number of people in the city. And also was
hungry HANGRY for most of the day.
Today, we packed snacks. And we get to climb a mountain. So, it’s already 4x better.
Questions of the Day:
- What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
- Would you buy a selfie stick?