Trip Start Jan 19, 2013
Trip End Apr 12, 2013

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Friday, March 15, 2013

We had some errands to run this morning. We checked out of the Narita hotel and took the shuttle bus back to the airport. From there, we went to get our Japan Rail passes and our Suica travel cards. Our rail passes don't kick in until next week so while we're in Tokyo, we have to use our Suica cards to get around. They are the Japanese Oyster cards basically. Once we'd got all our necessary cards, we took the train from the airport into the centre of Tokyo. The joinery took about an hour and I was amazed to see that after each journey, the carriages are thoroughly cleaned by a group of cleaners. You wouldn't get that in England!

Once we got to Tokyo station, Rikki did a superb job of navigating the subway system to get us to Bakurochõ. We got outside the station and asked directions to the Toyoko Inn where we are staying for the next few nights. Unfortunately, when we did find the hotel, we were dismayed to discover we had arrived at the wrong one. The one we actually wanted was further down the road in the opposite direction! Luckily it wasn't too far of a walk. We couldn't check in until the afternoon but we dropped off our backpacks and headed to Denny's for lunch.

Denny's is kind of like an American diner but still Japanese. Rikki thought it would be a good way to ease me into Japanese cuisine. I ended up having a steak dish with fries onions and some potato wedges, Rikki had a salmon burger. We were still a little peckish after our main meals so I ordered some pancakes for dessert and Rikki got the cheesecake. The portions were quite small but it hit the spot!

After lunch, we decided to catch the train to Akihabara which is also known as Electric City. You can get any kind of electrical item or component here apparently. When we first arrived we headed down into a little market section where there was stall after stall selling different cables and wires. We didn't have much need for any cabling so we went into a couple of the big department stores instead to have a look around. We're both after new cases for our phones but it seems everyone in Japan is already using the iPhone 5 so there is very little choice for iPhone 4 users which is surprising.

By early evening, we were on our way back to our hotel. I don't know if its the change in time zone or just being in Japan, but we were both exhausted when we got back. We relaxed in our room for a while before finding somewhere for dinner. We ended up in a little noodle restaurant. I had a chicken and vegetable stew type dish and Rikki had noodles. I've been quite lucky so far that the dishes I've ordered have come with cutlery other than chopsticks so I haven't had to struggle through. It's quite an adventure ordering food here as neither of us can read Japanese so it's a bit of a gamble not really knowing what is going to turn up!

It feels strange now that we are actually in Japan. I can't really describe it, things are the same as back home but at the same time they are different as well. It's a strange feeling being back in a place were I don't speak the language. Luckily a lot of the signs have an English translation else we'd be really screwed trying to find our way around!
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