unallersimple: (hectopus)
The last few days of my summer holiday were spent exploring Tokyo alone. I had such a good time. I could see more of the city than just the hotel I saw last year during orientation before being whisked off to the airport. I could be my happy introverted self and not have to talk to anyone for ages. The youth hostel I choose was in a great location. It was close to the major tourist spots and it had an ice cream shop right by. BaskinRobbins does the best flavors ever. I always eat way to much popping shower and rose & hibiscus tea. Sometimes at the same time.
There were two other people in my dorm. One was working all day and the other was an anti-social person like myself. This meant that whenever we were in the room at the same time, we both sat there happily pretending the other person didn't exist. It was wonderful.
The hostel was also on the 18th and 19th floor of a skyscraper. The sunsets from the dorm were beautiful.

For me Tokyo doesn't hold that many tourist attractions other than shopping and standing at the top of one really tall building looking at all the other really tall ones. I didn't really do much in those four days, but I didn't need too. As a girl from a place where driving involved waiting for tractors to pull over and let all the traffic behind pass a city the size of Tokyo just boggles my mind. It's so big. It's *so* big! I spent a lot of time looking up with my mouth open. The size of the roads and the buildings and the sheer amount of people everywhere is just huge! Half the time you can't even walk, just shuffle slowly. I enjoyed roaming around all the different districts of the city that I'd heard of such as Shibuya. I saw the famous crossing. Watching the number of people all crossing the junction at the same time is just as amazing as it looks in the media.

It's so different from the rice fields where I live in Japan. Whenever I get the bus to my junior high school there are never more than 4 people on it. Often I'm the only one on the bus!

I also stumbled around Shinjuku too (not paying attention to where I was going because I was still looking up). There I saw book shops 12 stories high!

The bizarre thing is that there are so many different things all right beside each other. After buying an mp3 player (English menu, get in), in the electric district I was leafleted by girls dressed in cute, manga like maid costumes trying to get people in their maid cafe.

^Maid cafe costumes kinda look like this.

The highlight of those four days included spending hours in the English language sections of bookshops. I bought way to many books, especially when I found so many good ones in Book Off; a second hand book shop that sells them on the cheap. I got a bit carried away actually. At one point I felt so nostalgic for French I bought a French dictionary and a copy of Harry Potter et le Prisonnier D'Azkaban. I knew I already owned a French dictionary back home, but just reading the back cover had me walking over to the till with my purse out before I even realized what I was doing.

Other highlights included clothes shops (clothes that fit!) and an Irish pub (fish & chips!) and wandering down a maze of alleyways and side streets one evening in Harujuku. The shopping there is just so cool.

If you know me, then you'll know I love a good view. I always go up tall buildings and take photos where ever I go travelling. Tokyo of course was no different.

^Did I mention Tokyo is big? This was taken in Ebisu. The orange and white thing is the Tokyo Tower. The huge circular building on the horizon to the left is Roppongi Hills.

I was sad to go but I think it was for the best considering how many books I was buying. At least I was treated to a beautiful view of Mt Fuji during the journey home to make up for having to leave. It was quite a special moment for me as I have wanted to ride a shinkansen past that view since I saw Lost in Translation five years ago. It was beautiful but an absolute waz to try and capture on camera. Damn cloud!

^ You can also see the size of the highways and fast train lines here, they are so tall!

Looking forward to going back to Tokyo one day.

unallersimple: (Japan Flag)
Yesterday (Monday) and today have been spent completing the JET Program orientation and training days in a hotel in Shinjuku in Tokyo. Turns out that the 12 hour flight was good preparation for this week as we've done nothing but spend it inside sat in lectures for around 9 hours a day. Several lectures were skipped this afternoon just so I could sneak back to my hotel room to sleep. Zzzzz!

Last night all the JETS going to the same prefecture as me met up for a karaoke session. I was worried about singing in front of other people but everything turned out to be fine because we were in our own booth and were all completely shizzled within about 5 minutes of getting there! It was a good night of singing and drinking and getting to know each other.

^Here I am with all the new Shimane ALTs in the hotel.

Tomorrow all the JETs going to Shimane prefecture are being flown there from Tokyo. It's a shame I have to leave the city without seeing anything but I'm so excited about finally seeing my school and my apartment. :)



Aug. 3rd, 2008 07:10 pm
unallersimple: (japan poster)
Sadly no time to update properly. At our awesome and impossibly big hotel in Tokyo they provide JETs with irons and Internet. Now there is no excuse to forget to contact home or appear messy at orientation/work tomorrow!

Flight was great, so fun chatting and meeting everyone. Time went so quickly. Here in Tokyo all British JETS have joined the Americans, Aussies, Canadians and New Zealanders.

Argf\ I wannt type so much but have only 10 mins access because so many people want to use Internet. Plus I can:t type on Japanese keyboards!

It:s so hot here, like walking into a sauna so hot you struggle to breathe easy. The humidity is immense. I think today was 39 degrees. I have no idea what time it is, either here or in England!

I was really scared and nervous before leaving. Since getting to the check in at the airport I:ve been calm and happy. I feel so lucky to have the chance to do this. So proud of all the hard work that got me here. I feel happy, so happy right now. :) Maybe that euphoric feeling is caused by jetlag and no sleep..? I don:t care I:m in Japan!

Also passing through customs in Japan, I was so happy because I:m now in country number 17, only 84 left to go to my "mission 101" if I can add up correctly! Woooooo!

Love to all, hope your well.



unallersimple: (Default)

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