Monday, June 27, 2011

Japan 2011- Day 1.5: We're here!

Hi! We made it! The flights were uneventful, but there's no getting around the brutality of 13 hours on an airplane... Since we were flying west from Upstate New York, the sun never set on us at all until we actually landed in Japan, making the night quite surreal. Brendan managed to sleep some, but every time I nodded off my head jerked & I was awake :(  Charlie listened to music to mellow out & I read a whole discworld book ("The Wee Free Man", the first of the Tiffany books, & the first of my Pratchett re-read project). Brendan alternated between his own discworld book & playing Kana on his ipod, Kana being an app to help him learn to read Japanese kana. He's known the hiragana for a few years but in Japan you need to have katakana as well (same alphabet but different symbols) & he was motivated to learn, which has already payed-off, as he's been reading every sign, package, & tin since we arrived :)

We are staying at the Century Southern Tower Hotel, in the heart of Tokyo's Shinjuku area. Shinjuku station, the busiest train station in the world, is nearby, & I can see Tokyo Hands & Takashimaya Department store from our room (see above). We took a shuttle bus directly to the hotel from Narita airport & were settled-in by about 9:00 pm Tokyo time. Our bodies thought it was 8:00 am but were so tired from being awake so long that we got some sleep... Charlie & I were awake by our customary 4:00 am (the jet-lag witching hour :) but Brendan slept soundly until 6:00 am while we read & listened to music, all on our i-devices (what a blessing!).
These pictures are the view from our hotel room window, on the 30th floor. They provide a map of the view, which is really neat. It's very foggy today, but at least the sun's out right now. It was pouring rain when we landed & all the way into Tokyo, but that's not surprising because it's still tsuyu, the rainy season.

Right now it's about 8:00 am & we're getting our bearings (the guys already found a vending machine with cans of coffee & bottles of iced ocha :), munching some of the pastries we brought from home, & thinking about breakfast. My friend Momo is coming up to Tokyo by train & will meet us at 12:30-ish for an afternoon of fun. I can't wait!!! We are here!!! 

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