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Newer Page 877 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Tokyo Harajuku Park

3 May 2010

Welcome to Tokyo

The above couple of pictures are actually from Day 2, but thats ok, lets talk about the point from getting off the plane onwards.
Narita airport is looking a bit tired, a lot more like Heathrow than Singapore or Hong Kong. I guess Singapore and Hong Kong have to try really hard as they are mainly transit passengers only, so for most people their only opinion of the country comes from the airport.
Despite the shabbyness, I cleared immigration, got my bag, cleared customs, bought a bus ticket and got on the bus in record time. Smoothest airport exit ever.
This actually isnt great, as I was in the city by 8:30pm and cant check in until 2.
Still I head to the hotel and they are fine with looking after my bags, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, they seem to all speak great english btw.

I wandered around non stop, giving my toes an early workout, used multiple vending machines, bought a SUICA card, rode a train, walked in a park to a temple, was amazed at various shops etc. I will let the pictures do the talking below.

First impressions of Tokyo - its very clean, theres cleaners everywhere, and security guards with white gloves everywhere, police also.
It does not smell like Hong Kong and London, they have the sewerage system sorted out, and on that note there are free good quality public toilets everywhere.
Signage is often but not always in English.
The smog isnt too bad, but maybe my smog meter is still busted from smogpocalypse last time I was in Hong Kong.

Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - My first of many vending machines, waiting for the bus (for all of 2 minutes) out the front of Narita. Its a holiday today, part of golden week, so th

My first of many vending machines, waiting for the bus (for all of 2 minutes) out the front of Narita. Its a holiday today, part of golden week, so the airport is very quiet.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - Mock me now please, after dumping my bags at the hotel, the first place for coffee was starbucks. Having not slept all night I needed a coffee, it was

Mock me now please, after dumping my bags at the hotel, the first place for coffee was starbucks. Having not slept all night I needed a coffee, it was actually cheap (this will be a theme, Japan is cheap with the current Australian dollar). I got what I wanted, but ordering skim or skinny milk provided a language challenge, but I think we got there in the end.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - Some sort of large random building, no doubt I will include many of them also, probably more at night, I dont care if no one else likes them.

Some sort of large random building, no doubt I will include many of them also, probably more at night, I dont care if no one else likes them.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - Heres the first train I bought, very simple to get a SUICA card (from a vending machine). It comes with credit on it, surprisingly you cant put more c

Heres the first train I bought, very simple to get a SUICA card (from a vending machine). It comes with credit on it, surprisingly you cant put more credit on it with a credit card you have to use cash. And on that note, 7-11 really does no longer accept master card for cash withdrawl (I tried), however citibank does, and though I havent tried it, Japan Post Bank is supposed to be ok also.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - This is a random street in Harajuku, I didnt find where all the freaks hang out, so I will have to do more research and go back. I was there a bit ear

This is a random street in Harajuku, I didnt find where all the freaks hang out, so I will have to do more research and go back. I was there a bit early as well.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - This is the entrance to a giant park in Harajuku, its really very large. I wandered around.

This is the entrance to a giant park in Harajuku, its really very large. I wandered around.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - These are for making sake I think, some kind of booze.

These are for making sake I think, some kind of booze.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - When you get to the temple, people were pouring water over their heads from this thing, no idea why.

When you get to the temple, people were pouring water over their heads from this thing, no idea why.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - The temple, there was a big religious ceremony of some kind going on to ward off Godzilla or entice schoolgirls or something. All I know is there was

The temple, there was a big religious ceremony of some kind going on to ward off Godzilla or entice schoolgirls or something. All I know is there was a large crowd and plenty of signs saying no photos.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - Some people have warned me about smokers in Japan smoking indoors and out and how disgusting it is (mainly my mother warned me of this, but some other

Some people have warned me about smokers in Japan smoking indoors and out and how disgusting it is (mainly my mother warned me of this, but some others). Anyway, I had read that times have changed, and so far I havent seen anywhere where you can smoke inside, and theres also lots of places like this where you cant smoke outside either. So I was right (as usual).


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - The Japanese Communist party pulled up in a bus with the loudest loud speakers I have ever encountered, I had to have my fingers in my ears. They also

The Japanese Communist party pulled up in a bus with the loudest loud speakers I have ever encountered, I had to have my fingers in my ears. They also had a nazi salute thing going on for a while. The police assembled but nothing exciting happened other than I nearly went deaf when I took my fingers out of my ears to take the photo.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - Heres my lunch, it cost about $10 in a proper sit down restaurant with waiters and whatever. I am not sure exactly what it was called, the menu was on

Heres my lunch, it cost about $10 in a proper sit down restaurant with waiters and whatever. I am not sure exactly what it was called, the menu was only in Japanese, but theres the dumplings on rice with the sauce, a salad, the miso soup and after this came the white jelly/custard style desert (sago? not sure). It was nice, the sauce was sweeter than I would like, and the dessert not as sweet as I would like, but I ate in a real japanese place with no english whatsoever on offer.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - The next 3 pictures are from the food area in the basement of a big department store in Shinjuku station, I found this very impressive.

The next 3 pictures are from the food area in the basement of a big department store in Shinjuku station, I found this very impressive.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - So impressive that I took multiple photos of it.

So impressive that I took multiple photos of it.


Japan-Tokyo-Harajuku-Park - Last one! mmm cake. Also in this center was Tokyu hands, which is like a homewares/hardware megastore with heaps of interesting stuff over 8 floors. I

Last one! mmm cake.
Also in this center was Tokyu hands, which is like a homewares/hardware megastore with heaps of interesting stuff over 8 floors. I told them they dont know how to spell Tokyo properly.


NewerPage 877 of 968OlderFull Trip Report