A couple of years ago the plans were put into motion. A group of friends decided to go to Tokyo and started saving for the trip. Since Japan was always one of the places I wanted to visit, I planned on going as well. Last year we picked date at the beginning of August 2104. The trip was supposed to be close to two weeks, but my situation in life had changed due to a wonderful woman in the Philippines, So I cut my Japan trip down to four days and the rest was going to be spent with her.
A British,a Finnish, a Irishman, and three Americans walk into a rental house located in Roppogoni Hills area. Sounds like a the beginning of a joke but that's the group we had on this trip. Our friend Mark, arranged the accommodations for us. It was a small rental house, especially for 6 people, but it was lots cheaper than a hotel.
As with almost every time I have flown this year, my flight out of Fort Wayne was delayed and I was booked on a later flight. When I got to O'Hare International, I had about thirty minutes to get to my connecting flight which I barely made. I arrived at Narito Airport and was happy to see my luggage made the tight turn around. I grabbed a charter bus to Roppogoni Hills and a cab to the rental house, which was a tad difficult to find.
Mark was at the house to greet me as the rest of the group had arrived there about a week before me. I got cleaned up and decided to explore the area. Mark showed me the layout of the area and where the subway was located. We ran into Aleksi on our journey and three of us ate a ramen place in the subway underground, which was the first of many great meals. We then hit up a grocery store across from the restaurant, and then headed back to the house. The others started piling in for their own individual adventures. It was good to see people again.
The next morning I tagged along with Mark to the Shinjuku area of town to visit the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower. It is the largest observation tower in the city. It was quite a view that went on for miles, even on a cloudy and overcast day.
|Sky Tree Tower|
|Sky Tree Tower|
After getting lunch in the tower, we went to grabbed the subway and went to Ueno Park for some walking around action. There are lots of things to do at the park with different museums, a zoo, and lots of open walking space. We ended up at the Natural Museum of Nature and Science. It felt good to get out of the muggy heat. Plus the museum was rather awesome with five levels of exhibits including a stellar fossil collection, an exhibit on how all life is connected, a dinosaur and evolution of man.
After a long day of walking around, my bad knee was throbbing. We went back to the rental house to catch up with everyone else. Basically we just hung around watching wrestling clips and chatting for the night. And I also was sipping on a variety of Japanese craft beer, which again I was pleasantly surprised with what I picked up at the store.
The next day Aleksi,Stephan, and myself decided to find Brewdog Roppongi for lunch and brews. I could have spent a long time here but after a delicious burger and three delicious high alcohol brews the other guys wanted to go to other things. Stephan and I decided to find this particular samurai sword shop which ended up being farther than I wanted to walk in the scorching heat. Glad I did because this shop was so cool and the owners very kind as it was obvious we weren't going to purchase any of the high end swords.
|Robot Resto show|
|Robot Resto stairway|
It was getting late and the subways were closing for the night and it was pouring down rain. So we took taxi's back to our rental house and decompressed from the visions we just saw.
We all woke up with one group activity to do, New Japan G1 Climax Finals. It took well over an hour and several subway changes to get to Seibu Dome and another mighty storm was closing in on the area. Being wrestling fans, we were all stoked for the show. And it did not disappoint. One of the best wrestling events I have ever been to. We got back to the house afterwards and reflected on our fun day.
I woke up ready to face my last day in Tokyo. The couple of items I wanted to do were closed so instead I decided to go bar hopping in the late afternoon. I ended up at Two Dogs Taproom which ended up being a fine craft beer bar. We all got together for a group picture at Roppogni Hills Observation Deck in Mori Tower. It's not as high as Sky Tree but on this clear the view was breath taking view. Afterwards Ceej, Aleksi, and myself went to find a sushi place to eat dinner. I had very fresh sashimi. Then Ceej and myself decided to take the long way back to the house and explore some more. Alright, I confess, there was a Godzilla art display to be seen.
|Two Dogs Taproom|
|The group overlooking Tokyo|
Tokyo is an expensive city. Tokyo is an amazing city full of history and sites to see. There could have been a better group of friends to take this adventure. All the people we ran across were very friendly, respectful, and helpful to us gaijins (foreigners). If ever visiting there remember that a small head bow goes a long way w/ the language barrier. The outstanding beer scene surprised me. The convenience stores kick the US convenience stores in the ass. And if you aren't near a store, there are vending machines for almost anything one can image all over the city. It was also odd to see lockers in the airports and subways. Haven't seen those in US terminals for quite a few years. For one the largest cities in the world it was so clean. It's definitely a place I want to spend more time in... some day.
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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