Day 50 - From Beijing to Tokyo

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Japan  , Tokyo,
Monday, November 19, 2012

Our flight was an 8:30 departure so we checked out of our hostel at 5:15 - yikes! We walked the cold and mostly deserted streets to the subway station. The subway fortunately starts running at 5:30 so we caught one of the first trains to an interchange station and then hopped on the airport express. This train took 15 minutes to get to the airport so we were there well within time. Brilliantly easy and cheap.
Then we boarded for the three hour flight to Tokyo. We watched Rock of Ages and nearly peed in our pants laughing at Russel Brand. Man, that guy is funny!
We arrived in Tokyo at lunchtime and managed to find the right train to take us to a station called Shanagawa. Our couch surfing host, Ankit, had given us directions to his house. The train ride was just over an hour. We arrived at the station and managed to find the bus to Yashiyo Park Town. The ride was around 15 minutes or so. We arrived, stepped off the bus and started hunting for his apartment building. We were in the right area but stopped at a doctors rooms to get some directions. The people were very helpful and pointed us in the right direction. Anton realized his cell phone wasn't picking up a signal so we couldn't contact Ankit. Anyway we managed to find his apartment and knocked but he wasn't home. After sitting and pondering on what to do for a while, Tess decided to walk to find a public phone. She found one just down the road, its a lovely family neighbourhood, but alas, no answer from Ankit's phone. So we left a note in the door and walked to a nearby shopping centre to wait and see. Feeling famished we ordered some Japanese noodles that arrived steaming and delicious. We chatted to some guys at the Indian restaurant in the Centre to see if they maybe knew Ankit. No luck there. Then it dawned on Tess that perhaps Ankit had left the door unlocked. She walked back and hey presto, the door was open. So bizaar. Being good South Africans we never dreamed that the door would be unlocked. Anyway she walked back, got Anton and walked back to the apartment. It was very weird arriving and letting ourselves in but hey, better than sitting in the cold. The place is very cute with one bedroom, a living area, kitchen and separate bathroom and toilet rooms. All small and compact and our bed, we presumed, was real Japanese style, a thin mattress on the floor. We sat on the couch and chilled wondering when our host would get home. He arrived just after 7 and we were very pleased to see him. He is a lovely Indian guy who has been living in Tokyo for 3 years. He made us feel welcome and suggested what we should do in our next two days. So interesting to try out couch surfing and, despite the shaky start, we really enjoyed being in a home and meeting an interesting person. Tomorrow we plan to head into Tokyo central and see some of this exciting city.
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