I wrote this post on Saturday but couldn't get it posted with the pics, anyway this what I had to say then:
Arrived in tokyo on thursday, where upon I promptly learnt what jet lag is: arriving at my hostel about 20 hrs after leaving home and then had to wait another 8 before going to sleep so that I'd make sure to get into the Japanese hrs.
On the day I arrived it was all a bit surreal and a little overwhelming between the lack of sleep and everything being in Japanese (crazily enough). It's definately a jump start into travelling, but after a good nights sleep I think I've really started to get into the traveller lifestyle and could start to appreciate all these cultural unfamiliarities.
I seem to have been pretty busy since I got here which is a little tiring but pretty exciting and all with a relaxed/impulsive sense of adventure which makes it all the more easy to get into, anyway I'll try to sum some of it up:
The hostel is cool, its simple but clean and comfortable with lots of really nice very open and easy going people, I've already learnt and forgotten too many names. Anyway I realise this is just the end of my 3rd day here but It's amazing how much I'm learning (and still have left to) just by being in the middle of it all.
Anyway here's a list of some stuff I've been up to so far:
Weds - left home
Thurs - arrived, walked around somewhat dazed but found my way to the hostel with only a minimal amount of getting lost.
Friday - decided to have a relaxed day to recover from the night before but ended up succesfully navigating around central tokyo on foot doing some sight seeing stuff with a mate I made from my room, including seeing the emporers palace, tokyo skyline at sunset and also seeing some less touristy locals areas.
Had some sushi which was 'interesting' but I made what i feel was a brave attempt and ate about half, I had tuna that was good, squid, sammon, prawn soop also good the taste was mostely ok-good but texture ranged from chewy to 2 minute jaw workout and unlike english sushi they give you servings that have to be eaten in one (since you have no knife) but just about fit in your mouth which makes the whole process a bit like russian roulette only with sushi instead of bullets.
Today (Saturday) - a different friend from the hostel joined me for a day out to a rural town (Nikko) about 60 miles north of tokyo which had some pretty impressive shrines and also went up a mountain there which had a lake up at 1,500 metres which was beautiful but really cold especially once the sun set.
There are a so many things that I'm finding make tokyo an amazing experience, far too many to list them all, but some of the most bizzare/interesting so far are:
- The way fairground style music plays just before your train leaves
- All the random Japanese foods which I've pretty much been sticking exclusively too and have mostly really liked despite the fact that you rarely know quite what you're in for until you eat it, also eating out feels much healthier here than at home.
- The adverts, tv programs and safety warnings everywhere are mostly bizzare and lost on us all, tho very entertaining.
- The way everything works like clock work from the traffic to the sudden influx of people as they leave work followed by a strange calm again, it's very different to london
- All the old school culture I've seen so far has also been really interesting and in tokyo often a calm quiet little temple/garden can be found hidden even in the busiest areas
- Vending machines are everywhere (apparently 1 for every 20 people) and offer equally random contents to the food.
Hope this post doesn't flow too badly had a long day but wanted to get some of it out whilst it's all buzzing around and whilst I enjoy a quick beer.
Will try to keep you all updated but in the mean time here's some pics to keep you busy.