Tokyo 4/86

Home Up Bangkok 4/86 Beijing 9/05 The Great Wall 9/05 Hong Kong & China 4/86 Tokyo 4/86 Xian 9/05

Hard to get around...

Cherry Blossoms in the Park

Our flight from Hong Kong was long, but uneventful. We had pre-arranged transportation from Narita airport to the Keio Plaza Hotel, because we had heard that traditional means were expensive. It turned out that everything was expensive in Tokyo. The luxury of mistakes we took for granted in our other travels got very expensive here. We grabbed a couple of sandwiches and a glass of Sake for dinner at our Hotel before retiring that cost about $60 US. This was also our first destination where the language barrier slowed us down.

 We had been told that major subway signs were duplicated in English, but that was not the case even in the largest station - Shinjuku (first picture below). Without subways to count on, we did a lot on foot. We knew that addresses were not useful, forcing us to find our way around by spotting landmarks and then retracing our steps. While high school aged children knew English, they often gave incorrect directions, because culturally it was impolite to say they didn't know something when asked. We spent a lot of time lost.

Shopping area entrance

On our first full day in Tokyo we took a stroll on foot to the Meiji Jingu Shrine (second picture above). There was a nice park there as well to see Japanese Gardens and the cherry blossoms which were in bloom (large picture at top of page and third and fourth pictures above). We did some shopping in the afternoon (first picture below) before heading for dinner.

We did much better at eating once we knew the lay of the land and the cost penalty associated with poor choices. We snacked on fast food during the day, eating lots of burgers, fries and milkshakes (remember Mary Lou was 7 weeks pregnant at the time). For dinners, we walked from the hotel to local restaurants where we could take the waiter outside and point to the plastic food on display to order. I even managed to say "Kirin" well enough to consistently get beer instead of a mystery drink.

On our second full day, we took a tour of the Imperial Palace (second picture above) and the Tokyo Tower (third picture above). The views from the tower give a perspective of the massive size of Tokyo (fourth picture above).

On our last day, we took another walk through the park near our hotel and then headed for the airport and the long trip home.

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