After spending a couple days in Hong Kong, it was time to head over to Tokyo! I have the next 8 days here for sightseeing, shopping, and generally being amazed. Unfortunately, there’s one problem that’s going to put a damper on things…
Yep, that’s rain in the forecast all the way through Tuesday… I’m leaving on Thursday afternoon. >.> Hopefully we’ll find enough to do despite the weather, but it really hinders what I want to do with photography! At least it gives me plenty of time to do shopping…
The flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo was about 4 hours and it was my first experience with a non-American airline. The flight was operated by ANA and it took some getting used to. Firstly, the announcements came in Japanese first, followed by somewhat broken English. Service was excellent and the food was pretty good. I wasn’t expecting to be served a meal on such a short flight, since it’s not something you see with an American carrier.
Getting into Tokyo was a breeze, immigration was quick, baggage claim was slow, and immigration was quick. Once on the outside though, the reality of how expensive the trip would be set in. The currency exchange was trading at 78 Yen per USD. Fortunately, travelers cheques were trading at 80 Yen to the dollar, so it wasn’t as bad. After a little problem with the hotel (they didn’t actually have the room we reserved), we got settled in to an upgraded room with an amazing view of the Tokyo skyline.
Off in the distance is Shinjuku and the DoCoMo clock tower. It truly was a spectacular view! Unfortunately, the weather wouldn’t hold and that turned into clouds the following day. No bother, we would be shopping most of the day in Ikebukuro and the Otaku mecca of Akihabara! We actually found a couple interesting shops in Ikebukuro, including several K-Books locations that dealt in second hand items. I managed to pick up a few artbooks and some CDs as well as browse a shop that handled doll clothing.
I also ran in to Darth Vader, who was looking for Droids, as well as an interesting kind of bar… I want to know what kind of drinks they specialize in!
The walk around Ikebukuro took a bit longer than expected, so we headed out to Akihabara around 3pm. By that time, the trains were starting to get crowded with all the students getting out of school and going to various places. 20 minutes later on the Yamanote train line and we arrived in Akihabara!
The rain didn’t let up at all while we were out there, so photo coverage was extremely limited. We’re definitely planning a second (maybe third?) trip!