So I am home from my trip to Tokyo, Japan! I am so amazingly thankful to have gone on this journey because I never thought in my whole life that I would be going to Asia!
My flight to Japan was long and I did not sleep a wink. When I landed there were tears in my eyes. Flying makes me so emotional, and I was too excited to be in another country. It was a bit intimidating to be somewhere where no one can understand you and everyone is secretly observing you. I major in communication studies so I’m constantly analyzing and secretly watching other people too! So whatever.
At the airport I was way too shy to use my tiny bit of Japanese, but I got more confident as the day wore on. I caught the Big Orange Limousine Bus from the airport and drove two hours into Shibuya, Tokyo. Then I had to get a taxi to my hotel in Sangenjaya. First impressions: HOT!
I was exhausted and it was about 7:00 p.m. I had been traveling for 12+ hours! I took a short nap, had a very strange dream, and was rudely awoken by my sister calling my hotel phone. I went down to the hotel lobby and I saw Fiona! I gave her a big hug and we talked about how cool Japan is! She is looking beautiful and like a model!
We ate a late dinner at Freshness Burger which tastes deliciously like In-N-Out. Except it is awesome because their ingredients and portion sizes are NORMAL! Everywhere in Japan you feel full, but not fat. What a concept.
My hotel is off of this main street filled with huge Japanese signs and funny shops.
The next morning I woke up at 5:45 a.m. blazing hot and had to turn the air on. I felt good, rested, and turned on the Japanese TV. Wanted to make some green tea, but I couldn’t figure out the instructions! What a let down. I watched a million funny commercials on the TV. I saw a tire company commercial with Leonardo Dicaprio! Didn’t know he was such a fan of car tires. I felt like every show was MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge), even the news.
The weather was in the high 80s (degrees Fahrenheit) that day with 90% humidity. This was something I have never experienced before in my life. That, and a constantly heated toilet seat in my hotel bathroom.
After being awake for five hours, I finally decided to call poor Fiona and wake her up. I warned her that I would be up early because of the time difference, but she still partied the night away till 7:00 a.m. Insane.
We took the metro to Shibuya and went shopping. The subway is tricky because it’s in Japanese, but luckily Fiona is an expert. Shibuya has lots of stores and a gorgeous dance shop by Chacott.
This is where Fiona was fitted for leotards, skirts, and pointe shoes for her Canon advertisement. It is five stories full of dance clothes, a private costumier, and dance studios.
Every leotard in the store is 8900 yen or somewhere around $100.00. I was shocked at the price! How do any Japanese people afford to dance?! It must be only the very rich and privileged.
Walking around anywhere in Japan makes one extremely hot and sweaty. We have to carry umbrellas or we overheat.
Next we hit up Shibuya 109 which is a huge tall mall targeted at young Japanese girls. Sales girls are outside of their stores yelling in high pitched voices trying to get you to come purchase. It’s rather scary and I’m glad the U.S. hasn’t resorted to this practice yet! Or else not as extreme as Japan.
But it worked and I bought a shirt for 1000 yen.
Above is a photo of the shopping area in Shibuya and all the avid shoppers out in the heat. The city reminded me of New York and has similar huge, bright jumbo-trons lining the buildings.
Fiona and I then took a train to Harajuku and went to Takeshita Street where there are more sales people yelling at you. I was very focused on shopping but I saw a few crazily dressed girls in their overly feminine costumes. It was extremely crowded and hot so we came home.
We returned to Fiona’s apartment in Sangenjaya which she shares with two other girls who are also models. Annya is Russian, age 17, and Andrea is 15 and from Romania. The girls are very nice and funny, but smoke cigarettes way too much for my liking. They, of course, were going out that evening, but I was suffering hardcore from jet-lag and came home to my hotel.
My first day in Japan was phenomenal and I would recommend traveling here to anyone! It is a city full of heat, life, and lights. I love Tokyo!
Day 3: coming soon!