Japan: Travel and Day 1

Yes, I'm actually writing about our trip to Japan. I don't have too many pictures so I'll apologize right up front about it. Now, what we did and what we liked.

Thursday - July 28, 2011

Thursday was filled with packing our bags and getting all of our last things pulled together. Our flight left from the Salt Lake airport at 10:00 PM and we had a short layover in Los Angeles before our flight to Tokyo. The flight was about 12 hours and we slept about half of it. Since Japan is 15 hours ahead of us, we basically lost an entire day on our flight there.
Login to see this picture

Saturday - July 30, 2011

We flew in to Tokyo about 4:00 AM. We made it through customs and all the other airport handy-dandy before making it to the airport train. One of the things that was most impressive was that everything was in both English and Japanese. I had no trouble at all buying tickets and finding my way around. Of course my wife knows a bit of Japanese so that helped too, but we would have been completely fine if she hadn't.

We took a taxi the rest of the way to our hotel and fortunately I had printed out the name of where we were staying because otherwise we would have never made it since the taxi driver didn't speak a word of English...Once we got tor our hotel, it was about 6:30. We crashed for several hours as we hadn't slept much in the past 24 hours.

By about noon, we decided to get out and check out the city a little bit. Plans for the first day were to hit up Akihibara. One of the things about Tokyo is that it has some very distinct and well known districts or areas. Akhibara is one such place. It's where some of the craziest anime cosplayers dress up and hang out. On top of that it's the place to go to see some of the coolest and newest technology. We hopped on the Metro, after figuring it all out in advance, and showed up. The area was hot and crowded. We walked around for awhile but didn't find anything too interesting. We did find out that we were still exhausted though. We only spent a couple of hours in the area but bought a few anime characters as gifts. We also got invited into several maid cafes by these girls that were dressed up like maids. Anya explained to me that they take care of you by making sure you have everything you need...Not sure if I was totally clear on what she meant, but we didn't ever get inside of one.
Login to see this picture

We headed back to our hotel pretty early and slept a couple more hours. We then decided to walk along the Imperial Palace river that sat right along where our hotel was. It was quite a gorgeous area, and it turns out that it's a pretty popular place to run in spite of the awful humidity. We were only out for a bit and then headed home to sleep for the night.

Back side of the Imperial Palace gardens.