Experiencing Ueno

Finding Hatchbori

Disovering Kyoto

Day 7: April 4, 2012 Wednesday

Melodrama aside, I was actually sad leaving Kyoto…and exhausted. As we neared Tokyo, we caught sight of Mt. Fuji – separated by a glass on a moving bullet train!

Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji – through the looking glass

The train pulled into Tokyo Station at 5pm. Back on familiar ground. We were back on familiar ground. How quickly the surroundings become comforting. We took the Keiyo line, switched to the Hibiya line and reached our next stop, Naka-okachimachi station. Taking the subway was no longer a scramble of coins and map. We were well-prepared.

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Discovering Kyoto

FINDING HATCHOBORI

Day 5: April 2, 2012 Monday

The next morning, after breakfast, we leisurely packed up (after the clueless hotel clerk told us getting to Tokyo Station on the Keiyo Line takes less than 10 minutes) and strolled to the train station. We barely made the bullet train, Shinkansen Hikari 新幹線 ひかり (ran by the JR Rail), and didn’t find our seats (13 cars later) until 15 minutes after the train left the station. The trip was purchased through Japanican.

Shinkansen

Shinkansen Bullet Train

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Finding Hatchobori

Day 1: March 29, 2012 Thursday

Our journey began from JFK and took us into the Land of the Rising Sun some 13-back-breaking-hours later.

At the airport, I could have sworn I saw Ninomiya-kun of Japanese boy band Arashi, and is known (to American audiences) for his portrayal as Private Saigo in the 2006 Letters from Iwo Jima and most recently Gantz.

Day 2: March 30, 2012 Friday

Maneuvering from Narita Airport to the heart of Tokyo was pretty simple and came with English instructions/speakers to aid. We took the Keisei Skyliner from Terminal 2 right into Ueno (40 minutes) without too much of a hiccup. However, once in the city, we were overwhelmed with signs, information in Japanese and the general bustle of the city. However, the people were helpful and understanding – even though it came down to signing.

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