Friday, January 04, 2008

Japan: Day four

"Many Japanese residents use trains and subways for traveling and often rest on them, such as this man does as the Hibiya line subway speeds past Akihabara station, Friday, Jan.4, 2008"

Wow. My feet hurt. But I can sum Friday in five words: cars, sushi, walking, lost and trains.

Being my first day alone, I walked for almost eight hours without rest, except on trains or subways and lunch. I Saw many cars I wish I owned, ate sushi twice and got lost more than I would have liked.

I'd tried to sleep in a little since I didn't need to meet anyone in the early morning. I guess I didn't try hard enough, because I woke up at my typical time of 6:15 a.m.

To start my day I walked to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, which offers one of many lookout points in Tokyo. However, it didn't open until 9:30 a.m. and I was about 45 minutes early. I decided to ditch the idea until Sunday or Monday.

Instead, I walked to the JR train station and took a short ride to Harajuku. This was the same area I visited earlier this week when at the Meiji Shrine, but didn't see the rest of the area. It was crowded with a lot of boutique shops and teenagers. Many shops where just opening, so I did nothing more than people watch and get lost trekking around.

I found, what I think was a shinto shrine, and saw a bunch of neat little cars in this region.

Around 10:30 a.m. I went nine train stations south to Yurakucho. Since there is no station for Ginza, so I had to walk there. Before hiking south into Ginza I walked north to the Imperial Palace, home to Japan's Imperial family. It's closed everyday of the year except January 1st, so I only caught a glimpse from the gardens that surround it. (Mom, this is where I was when you called).

By 12:30 p.m. I needed food. I decided on sushi in Ginza.

As my day continued, I roamed around Ginza and Tokyo station. Tokyo station is congested and very, very confusing. I was lost for a good 30 minutes in the station. I didn't find much once I did though.

I ended my day walking in Shibya and Akihabara. In Akihabara there are tons of electronic stores. If you can think of an electronic device you want, this place has it. From stores in streets to six level camera stores that take one 15 minutes to find an exit. I don't think some were legal. But I had fun looking at these businesses.

Since I knew this would be my last town of the day I decided to walk 45 minutes one way. I didn't find much. I just saw a bunch of my favorite Japanese cars, including the brand-spanking new Skyline GT-R. I happened to walk up to it on my way back. A man walked by and said in broken English "monster car."

I returned to my hotel at 6:00 p.m. and rested before walking around in Shinjuku at 8:00 p.m. before grabbing more sushi and calling it a night.

I am starting to think I am Japanese. Of all the places I've been since my arrival, I've seen maybe five non-Japanese people. I am in my own little world, as I only know very little Japanese. It's very weird, yet peaceful.

Not sure where I'll go tomorrow. Probably some more of the little towns on the JR line.

note: I've just realized that many of my Japan posts have wrong days and dates and many typos. I lost a day traveling and it's a 14 hour difference from Baltimore, Md. Please excuse my faults. I'll try and correct what I can.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy new year
have fun in japan

Friday, January 04, 2008 6:07:00 PM  

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