Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Japan - The Story So Far

We're going into day ten in Japan right now - only one day to go, and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. I don't want to go home. I love it here.

But we've packed more stuff into this trip than probably any trip I've previously been on. Here's a brief run-down of what we've done:

Day 1: Travel day - New York to Tokyo, Tokyo to Osaka, Osaka to Kyoto. Arrived in Kyoto late, so basically checked in to the New Miyako hotel and went to bed
Day 2: Kyoto Tower, Sanjusangendo temple, Kiyomizu temple
Day 3: Umekoji steam locomotive museum, Gion, Gion Corner show, Kyoto Handicraft Center, shopping
Day 4: Kyoto to Tokyo by shinkansen (bullet train), a quick trip back to Narita airport to pick up a lost jacket, La Rochelle restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo to Ryugasaki by train
Day 5: Narita temple, rest!
Day 6: Kindergarten "exercising day" for our nieces - this was the main reason for our trip. Picked up a bad case of sunburn in the process
Day 7: Shopping, visits with friends, Ryugasaki to Tokyo by train, check-in at the Shinagawa Prince
Day 8: Tokyo Tower, Akihabara, more visits/dinner with friends
Day 9 (today): Meiji shrine, Harajuku, Ginza, shopping, still more visits with friends!
Day 10 (tomorrow, final day): Studio Ghibli museum, Asakusa, Himiko water cruise (this boat was designed by Leiji Matsumoto), Odaiba, Sega Joypolis

We come home the morning after.

I'll pick a few things out from this list to write about in more detail later. Everything we've done so far has been really worthwhile; there's nothing we've regretted doing, though it's really been a tiring and at times gruelling trip. We've been through a typhoon that stopped our train in its tracks (literally), for one example - we had to stand out in the freezing rain waiting for our ride for an hour. I left my jacket on the plane and so was without one for the first three days, then I lost my umbrella in the middle of the typhoon. My face is completely falling apart right now from the effects of sunburn (yeah, we went from one weather extreme to the other); I feel like if I took a chisel to it, it'd shatter into a million pieces. And we're both just worn out from walking; even as New Yorkers used to walking everywhere. But it's been fun overall, and I just love being here.

btw, the photo at the top of this post is the amazing view out our hotel window. I'll tell you the amazingly simple way I made the panorama image in a later entry, though it'll probably be on my photo blog.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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