Day 1 (and a bit) – Fly to Tokyo and explore

Headed off early on a Tuesday morning to Heathrow Terminal 5.  We planned on a relaxing lunch before hopping on the plane.  Didn’t really intend to eat at Wagamama but it just happened.  It’s better than the other options!  Once aboard our plane the good news was that there were quite a few empty seats so we could relax with a bit of space.  The bad news was a software error that delayed us by nearly 2 hours.  I didn’t get any sleep but I did watch the new Godzilla movie, The Lego Movie and some pretty funny Billy Crystal thing.

The first thing I noticed about Japan was how orderly the fields are.  Now we know a thing about a nice orderly field in England, but they were like city blocks.  So many rectangles for fields.  Had our fingerprints scanned to keep us out of trouble and then we were assisted by Akiko with booking our trains for the trip and getting to the train into Tokyo from Narita airport.  That was a very relaxed 80 minute ride through built up areas and some countryside.  We skipped the slightly dodgy looking trolley food.  We negotiated Shinjuku station, switched to the metro and then checked in at our hotel around 2pm.

Determined to see as much of Tokyo as we could, we did a very short turnaround and headed out to the Ginza district where we found some especially tasty tempura in the giant Matsuya department store.  Ginza is a lot like Oxford Street but with a bit more of a mix of businesses and food in with the shopping.  From here we headed to Odaiba, a bit of a modern area in the bay where there’s giant malls and some attractions.  The views from the train were amazing but there wasn’t too much to do there for us.  We did see a giant Gundam statue, a fake Statue of Liberty and some good views of Tokyo’s skyline.

We ended up on a train back that was going through Shibuya.  Despite us both being nearly ready to drop, we jumped off and grabbed a drink in the Starbucks above Shibuya crossing.  It looks exactly like it does in movies or on tv and it was great to see it at night.  We then continued back to Shinjuku, failed to find any street food vendors and then slowly walked back to our hotel, grabbing a bite to eat at Subway en route.

Very, very long day!