For Sunday, November 6, 2011 Hiroshima Chris (from Australia) and I rode the Shinkansen train to Tokyo. It took five hours altogether. We had to sit apart, so I mostly listened to podcasts to pass the time. It was pleasant just to sit there and watch the landscape slide past. Tokyo At the JR station, Chris and I parted ways. He was returning home, having spent two weeks in Japan for vacation.
For Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Tokyo I did laundry in the morning, then rode the Shinkansen train with Chris (from Australia) to Kyoto. Kyoto Chris and I checked into our hostel, Backpackers Hostel K’s House Kyoto, then headed to the adjacent bar for a couple beers. I went back to my room to get something and met Mike (from the U.S.) and asked him to join Chris and I in the bar.
For Monday, October 31, 2011 Tokyo Still being sick, I let myself sleep in again. The weather was still gray and dreary, so again I decided to stay inside and take it easy. I called Tess at 2 PM and caught up with her. In the evening, I went out to eat okonomiyaki — kind of like a Japanese pancake — delicious! — for dinner with Chris and Billy (both from Australia), Damian and Aliena (both from Canada), and Angelica and Felix (both from Sweden).
For Sunday, October 30, 2011 Tokyo I woke up feeling sicker than ever: sore throat, dehydrated, and exhausted. I tried to sleep in as much as I could, but the sounds of roommates and cleaners eventually forced me awake. I contemplated going with Chris (from Australia) and Stephen (from New Zealand/Canada) to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, but I didn’t feel up to it. I tried to call Tess at 2 PM, but couldn’t reach her, then realized I was calling a day early because it was Sunday here, but Saturday there.
For Saturday, October 29, 2011 Tokyo My throat still felt sore, so I let myself sleep in. Then I checked out of the Anne hostel and checked into Backpackers Hostel Ks House Tokyo. Using their wifi, I researched more into Japanese culture I might want to experience. I was still feeling under the weather, so I didn’t want to do a lot of strenuous walking, so I decide to check out one of the many gardens in Tokyo.
For Friday, October 28, 2011 Tokyo I went to Harajuku, the young fashion center of Tokyo, to see the bizarre outfits and explore the clothing shops. I ate udon for the first time for lunch. I went to the Apple store in Shibuya and bought a 128 GB 11" MacBook Air. I couldn’t stand not having my own computer environment anymore. I had been having trouble finding the time or opportunity to blog about my experiences.
For Thursday, October 27, 2011 Tokyo I went with Karlee (from Canada) to the Tsukiji fish market late in the morning. Unfortunately, the real action begins at 5 or 6 AM, so the show was mostly over when we got there. We perused the aisles of the market anyway and saw some cool things, then exited and ordered relatively cheap, super fresh sushi bowls at a nearby restaurant. Karlee was going to meet a friend at Ginza, and I had already been there, so we parted ways.
For Wednesday, October 26, 2011 Tokyo The drinking from the night before had overwhelmed me, so I spent most of the morning waking up, cleaning up, and getting stabilized. I needed more cash (a common problem in Tokyo, I was to learn) and something to put in my stomach, so I walked to the nearest 7-11 (all 7-11s have ATMs that accept foreign cards and are open 24 hours per day), withdrew some cash, and bought a sandwich for the road.
For Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Incheon Liz gave me a ride to the Incheon airport in the morning. She waived the ride fee because I donated my Going Abroad book to her hostel library. We chatted about the landscape under construction that we were passing through. The South Korean government had planned for a lot of development around Incheon, but there wasn’t enough demand for housing there, so there was a lot of suspended construction dotting the landscape.