You never hear people talking about bad experiences or days very often when they are traveling. Usually it is all rainbows, and glitter, and butterflies (and sometimes puppies). However, I am here to tell you that yesterday was a pretty terrible day for me. Japan was not all things green tea, and sushi, and anime yesterday. Here’s why….
So, mind you, this is my first full day in Japan. Mr. M picked me up at my hotel around 10 am. He showed me the way from my hotel in Akasaka (the buisness district) to the hotel where his office is and where we will have the English lessons in an area called Shinjuku. It is a 20 minute walk from here to the subway station, a 10 minute ride on the subway, and a 20 minute walk from the stop to the hotel. 50 minutes of travel time several times a day is no fun! Plus, he told me to remember it all, because I would be doing it on my own from now on. Say what?! Think of being thrown in NYC for the first time and told you will have to find your way around. By yourself. On the first day. But in Japanese!
We finished orientation around 2. My friend Wakana (a Japanese girl that I know from her time in the US) was supposed to meet me at 5:30. It wasn’t quite enough time in between to merit the trek back to my hotel and then back again, so I stayed in the area. Mr. M didn’t offer me a place to rest or wait but just told me to go walk around. Well, I discovered you can only wander around for about 3 hours by yourself in a big city that you don’t know and where you don’t speak the language. Then you start getting tired of walking, jet lag starts taking over, and you get lost. Ok, I actually didn’t get lost, and I am thoroughly impressed with my sense of direction (sorry it doesn’t run in the family Katie!). Being by myself on my first day with nothing to do was no good. No good I tell ya. No good.
I did wander into a nice park. There was a lot of nature and even a shrine I checked out (I hope I was allowed in there!) But, here is the most traumatic part of my day. There are HUGE crows everywhere in Tokyo, which I find kind of strange. They are so loud and so evil looking. (Have you ever looked a crow in the eyes? If not, don’t do it!) Well, anyway, there was a huge crow the size from about your fingertips to your elbow sitting on the sign at the exit to the park. I looked at it and thought about how creepy it was while walking by. With my back turned to it now, all of a sudden, it swooped down and put it’s claws on my head! It let go luckily (it could have really hurt me!), but it scared me to death! Oh no! Now I’m going to be one of those people that are scared of birds!
Thankfully, dear, dear Wakana made my day have a good ending. She picked me up and we went to eat at a restaurant that is on the 49th floor of a building. We had the most amazing view while we were eating! It was a very traditional Japanese restaurant. We had to take off our shoes before entering, and we sat on very low seats at a low table. And the food was delicious! She even had them bring me out a birthday dessert! (Since I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday on the 21st really.) She also took me to the Tokyo Government Building Observation Tower, so we good see the view from the 45th floor. The elevator takes you from floor 1- floor 45 in 55 seconds! My ears popped! Wakana, even took me home so I wouldn’t get lost even though it was really out of her way. Thank God for friends! :]
So, Wakana saved the day, and I don’t plan to have any more bad days while here in Japan!