…thats a Hold Steady lyric you guys…look it up…
The plane was petty much the worst ever. Neither of us got much sleep, but World War Z and Die Hard were on the movie list…so that almost made up for it. That was a solid first sentence. It also didn’t help (me) that two nights before I shared a red-eye from San Francisco with the National Association for Screaming Babies and Parents Who Can’t Shut Them Up. No, no I do not have children, so I cannot relate.
So, basically I’m painting a picture of me being very tired; that’s the take home point.
We landed in Narita Japan, where the international airport is, at 1:15ish in the afternoon on the same day that we left Orlando at 7am. We had arranged to take an airport shuttle from Narita to Roppongi, the area in Tokyo we were staying. We had just missed a shuttle so we killed 45 minutes watching a Japanese TV show that (I think) starred a Magnum PI inspired taxi cab driver…but yeah, I had no idea what was going on.
We had a minor freak out when the first ATM we visited refused to give us cash. This ballooned a little bit when the second ATM said we were trying to withdraw more than “we were allowed”. Don’t worry that story had a happy ending and we now have some ¥.
We boarded our bus/shuttle with really remarkable efficiency. Everything thus far had been pretty easy (note that I don’t yet have an example of anything that hasn’t been easy, I just want to leave the for-shadowing window open). The shuttle took about 90 minutes…mostly because Narita is so far north from Tokyo, but also because we hit Tokyo in the midst of a bit of traffic. No worries, it gave Erin the time to take a quick nap.
The approach to Tokyo was somewhat limited from view by the walls that cradle the particular highway we were on, but the scale was still made obvious by through the intermittent cracks that zipped by. Aside from Bangkok…and maybe LA (which I’m even t less familiar with) this is easily the largest “city” I’ve ever been in.
We are fortunate enough to be staying with a friend in Tokyo. We arrived at his apartment and stretched our legs for the first time in damn near 20 hours. After threatening to fall asleep on the couch, we rallied up a bit and went down to explore the area that he lives in (which is quite posh and western) and grab a bite.
We ended up at a place in the complex called Tetsu. In order to go in the place you have to buy a ticket at the video-game looking menu outside. Thankfully it had an English version. Unthankfully selecting that option didn’t do anything. Eventually, and after a formidable line had formed behind us, we just did what any self respecting video game player does when they can’t beat the boss and started mashing buttons. In went our money, out came our tickets, and few minutes later out came our food.
We ended up with 2 different types of noodle bowls. One was a straight forward ramen noodle bowl (no nothing like that) in broth, and the other was a soba noodle in broth with a bean curd dipping bowl. It was really good.
Since at this point I was basically a walking zombie, we went back to the place and I summarily passed out until the next morning…