I have so much to tell you about Japan! As good as it feels to be home (and to hug Presley), I can’t help but feel sad that we aren’t in Japan anymore. I feel like our vacation was a love affair with Tokyo. The busy streets, the crazy-stuffed trains, the bustling train stations, the incredible food, the amazing customer service, the gorgeous stationery stores, my best friend Mister Donut, the loud and smoky izakayas…I already feel nostalgic about the whole trip.
Naoto and I had serious jet lag in the beginning of our trip. After our thirteen hour flight, the ninety minute train trip (pictured above) and the two-stop subway trip (which all includes struggling up and down hundreds of stairs with our luggage), we made it to our hotel, grabbed a snack at a convenience store and fell into bed around 11PM. We were both wide awake at 4AM (2PM Chicago time), so we decided to get up, shower and enjoy a little walk around our neighborhood.
We stayed in a little hotel, the b, two blocks away from the Sangen-Jaya station. The hotel was in a pretty residential/non-touristy neighborhood. It was an ideal location: two blocks away from Mister Donut, two blocks away from the subway, three blocks away from a post office, and two train stops away from Shibuya (the Times Square of Tokyo) and some really awesome stationery shopping. I cannot thank my sister-in-law, Hisae, enough for doing the research and finding this dream location.
The picture at the top was taken around 6AM as we walked around our neighborhood that first morning. All of the shops and restaurants were closed (most shops don’t open until 10 or 11AM), but it was fun to see what was available in a short walk around the area. (Honestly, we were just killing time while we waited for Mister Donut to open!) Did you notice the man in the pink shirt sleeping on the side of the street? Apparently it is not uncommon in Japan to “sleep it off” wherever you happen to pass out.
The only bad thing about our trip was that it was so hot in Tokyo…so hot… I’m not sure if I was just not used to the heat since we’ve had such a mild and cool summer in Chicago, or that the humidity was out to kill me…but I really haven’t felt that kind of boiling madness over a long stretch of days in a really long time. (Shout out to my cousin serving in Kuwait…I know I shouldn’t complain about the heat!!) The weather made it hard to enjoy getting to places, but once we got to our destinations (usually cool, air conditioned destinations), we felt refreshed and ready to take it all in.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another post about our trip. I think we can just consider September “Japan Month” here on the blog.