So, I made it to 7 am this morning. Not too shabby for only your second day being 13 hours ahead of your normal body's schedule. I think it partly is due to our extremely long day yesterday and partly due to the fact that we didn't go to bed until 1. Either way, I'm not complaining. Dave is still sleeping (of course) so I thought I would come down here and give some more detail on my take on Tokyo.
We both love this city. Can't explain exactly what it is, but it's amazing. When we first stepped off the plane, minus the japanese characters everywhere, it really looks like every other airport in the states. Until I got to the bathroom. I walked into the ladies room and went into the first stall, bidet. Not what I was looking for. The next stall, a small canal in the floor leading into a small hole, DEFINITELY not what I was looking for. Finally a "normal" western stall. This was my first introduction to Tokyo. But I have to say, everything is extremely clean. The bathrooms were spotless. Even the small sushi place we ate at yesterday on the side of the market was spotless. From what we've seen, they definitely take pride in their city here.
The people are also extremely friendly. On the train, everyone kind of closes their eyes and slips into their own world, however, while walking around and especially while trying to order food or get your ticket for the train, if they see you struggling even a little bit, they will just walk over and help. Whether they speak English or not. We've had some really nice people help us and last night met a clerk at the store who was hysterical. Wanted to practice his English and when he found out that we were from DC (we are still struggling as to where to tell people we're from ) he responded with 'Obama' 'Yes we can' 'Change is needed'. The tourists are also really friendly. We've run into several different groups and have gotten some useful information from them. Also led one couple to the fish market (see yesterday's blog) and gave a guy directions on how to get to the airport after only being in this town for 10 hours.
The other thing I will say about Tokyo is that everything is to the extreme. We are apparently staying in one of the more traditional areas of town named Asakusa. It's a nice area, which we will explore today and blog about later. However, when we got off the train at the Ueno station, everything was bright lights. Entire streets were lit up and huge TVs were on the sides of buildings. This was especially so in areas like Shibuya and Shinjuku. At the fish market, the smells, sounds and sites all were to the extreme. Plus, since space is such a premium, everything in the hotel room is miniature. Somehow, they are able to fit a bed, 2 trashcans, a tv, radio, coffee pot, tea set, and all the rest of the normal neccessities into a room smaller than our old storage space. It's amazing, but it works and we still have room for our luggage and to walk about.
Well, I know we like to do long posts, so I'll end here for now. I'll talk a little more tonight about the food presentation here, so just keep posted (you know who I'm referring to :) .