I’ve never let a potential trip wait so long to be blogged as I have this trip to Japan.
Relevant for that leading sentence:
I remind myself that one reason I write about my trips is so I can look back in later years and remind myself of some good times. So here goes nothing.
First off: Jared and flew from NYC-> Hong Kong -> Sapporo (New Chitose Airport). The route from NYC-> Hong Kong only took 16 hours, took 16 hours, 16 hours, 16. That’s long enough for two sleeps. I took about 1, on account of the Advil PM; I also finished a book (without pictures).
My ass went numb at one point, too.
Hey, stop thinking about my butt.
By the time we got to New Chitose Airport (close to Sapporo), we realized we were in Japan, which meant our brains were still working! That’s when we first encountered Onigiri.
And also, we discovered Japanese attention to detail/organization:
At that moment, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what time it was, even if I had a watch. We stopped at New Chitose because it is in Hokkaido, and Hokkaido was our final destination, since this was a ski trip after all. But before skiing, we had other business to take care of. Neither of us were “going to fly 32+ hours and not visit Tokyo.” So we went to bed, because the next morning, we were on our way to Tokyo.
I think we did a lot of the stuff in Tokyo that folks often do. In the interest of clarity, I’m going to break down our trip to Tokyo in categories.
We stayed in an AirBnb in Shibuya on Dogenzaka street. It was clearly an investment property — the owner never lived there and only rented it out. It was spacious.
There were sweet-ass arcades, apparently owned by SEGA?
We also ate at Freshness Burger.
Checked out some views
Chilled with a doge
Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine
And we found the bathrooms.
Then we discovered the entrance to the Meiji Shrine, and some decorative sake barrels.
And made it to the main shrine
Shinjuku Golden Gai
Drinking in the Golden Gai area was one of the most memorable and cool things we did in Tokyo. Quite a few of the bars won’t even allow tourists in, which is judged by one’s ability to speak Japanese. No Japanese? No entry.
Tsukiji Fish Market
It’s the fish market you’ve all heard of. It’s massive, and they apparently auction off massive tunas in the early morning (5 a.m. or something). We couldn’t be bothered to wake up for that. But we took photos later anyway!
Tokyo Skytree and the Hyatt Hotel (“Lost in Translation” bar)
Harajuku & Takeshita Street
I imagine this is something like New York City’s St. Marks street.
The food, the food, the food. Best Ramen I had was at this place that has 3.5 stars on Google Reviews: Samurai Noodle. Oh well. A 3.5 ramen to the Japanese is 35.5 to me.
Art and Decorations
Those are the highlights. Tokyo was one of the most exciting cities I’ve been to in my life. I want to go back and stay for a few months, although I’m not sure when I’d carve the time out for that wishful endeavor. But, when we departed Tokyo, we weren’t really sad, and that’s because we were on our way back to Sapporo — our starting point for our ski exploration trip on the northern main island of Hokkaido. Read about the skiing in Japan Part II: Heaven is Actually Called Hokkaido.
Arigatou gozaimasu, Tokyo. Konnichiwa, Sapporo.