Tokyo Trip 2017

Day 1

“Why Tokyo?” is a question I’ve been getting a lot since arriving home from our trip. And I guess I don’t really know. We had some travel points, we wanted to see Asia, and we’d heard good things about Tokyo. So on a whim we bought tickets for Singapore Air and cashed in our Marriott points on a 6 night hotel stay.

We left Salt Lake City 6 am Tuesday, May 16, and arrived at Narita Airport around 3 pm Wednesday, May 17 (woof). Then we caught the train into the city. I would tell you about the lush scenery, but no one wants to read about the lush scenery.

Once in Tokyo, it took a good deal of brow furrowing and map studying to determine which metro to ride and which stop to take. We almost got it right, and I’m actually really glad we were off a bit because we ended up at Ohsaki station and walked through Ohsaki to get to our hotel. Ohsaki is swarming with young families, most of which include preschool-aged children wearing tiny uniforms, tiny straw hats, and giant backpacks. Watching them waddle home from school is painfully cute. From that first stop forward we got off at Ohsaki every chance we could just to walk through the town and see the kids. Does that make us creepy? Does it make me less creepy if I tell you I resisted the urge to photograph them?

After arriving at the hotel, Stephen and I both took some time to get to get acquainted with our room’s toilet.

It’s astonishing how behind America is in terms of toilet technology. Every toilet I used in Japan had heated seats, multiple bidet options, and a noise function for when you want extra privacy.

After showering and pounding the not as tasty Japanese version of Diet Coke called Coke Plus, we caught a taxi that was very clean and very fancy. The driver had placed doilies all over the seats. Apparently this is common because our return taxi had the same design scheme. Stephen tried to tip the driver and the driver insisted on giving back the exact change. We promptly added that to our pro column. Even without the tip, though, cab rides are expensive and it’s much more affordable to take the metro. I do recommend driving though the city once or twice to get oriented, something you can’t really do traveling underground, but then getting comfortable with the metro lines.

We arrived at Tokyo Dome in Bunkyo to see the Giants play the Swallows.

Before the game we grabbed some ramen from a food court next door. In ordering we discovered that English was not as globally ubiquitous as we had presumptuously assumed, and that most of our communicating with Tokyo-ans would need to be done through gesturing.

This was my least favorite ramen of the trip and it was still really good ramen. I just had to deduct some points because the seaweed was a little too potent for my liking.

As its name suggests, Tokyo Dome is a giant dome housing an indoor baseball field. What we saw of the game was great and entertaining, but as soon as we sat in our seats we realized just how tired we were. Like, next to dead tired. It had been a full 28 hours since we’d slept, and we were both nauseous and achey and as much as we wanted to power through, we only lasted a few innings before catching another cab and falling asleep on the ride back to the hotel.