Green Tea, Fish and Cranes

This morning I got to experience the Tokyo underground in rush hour. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and I certainly didn’t see and “crammers” stuffing people on trains. It was more civilised than London, but little old ladies here can push just as well as those back home.

Asakusa Senso-Ji

Spent the morning in Asakusa looking at the temples and generally wandering around.

A very silly building

Then took the river boat down to Hamarikyu gardens and took green tea in the middle of the lake whilst watching leaping fish and the white crane. Very civilised. Then a walk back through Ginza, successfully negotiated the posting of two post cards in the post office and took in the rather impressive architecture at the Tokyo International Forum (Google it – I can’t upload every picture now).

The Tea House in HamarikyuGreen Tea and a sweet

I also found the statue of Godzilla.

Go! Go! Godzilla!

Right now I’m in the hotel but going to go out for something to eat in a short while.

Food & Sleep!

Went to Shinjuku to wander around and look at the neon. Very pretty, but I’m sure some of the side streets I wandered down were dodgy or would have been if I could read the signs above the door. Haven’t been in a pichinco parlor yet, but you should hear the noise when the door to one opens! Ended up with a beer and a meal back in a little cafe in Asagaya.


I’m here and at my first hotel. Bloody knackered and a little bit dazed. Passport control took ages and then the train in from the airport took an hour to Tokyo central station. I dumped the backpack in a locker and went wandering. Found the imperial palace (not open to the public) & what I later found out was the edge of Ginza.

By then my legs were complaining so I came and found my hotel for a shower. It’s now 5:30 so I’m about go out again. The Suits and the school uniforms are all true BTW!


The alarm went off in the hotel room and I turned on the TV and there on the news was a report with a caption “Heathrow”. I panicked a bit. But after listening it turned out it was only about data protection for travellers to the USA so I could have breakfast in peace.

I’m checking in – in terminal 3 and boarding at 10:25. No bump to 1st class – but a window seat.

I’m on my way!

Loadsa Yen

Yen banknotes

I’ve now collected my currency and have some Yen. I only have two types of note 5000 and 10,000 (roughly £22.50 and £45.00).

This time next week I’ll be on the plane!

What’s new?

Well there’s not a lot new to report. I just wish departure time was here now. I’ve…

  • Ordered the currency
  • Checked train times, 5 hours between Hiroshima and Tokyo!
  • Sorted out one or two pre-packing bits like first aid and toiletries

Should have the “take to Japan” phone Monday or Tuesday so that will need to be set up. I also need to do a bit of work on learning some basic Japanese phrases, especially the numbers.

Schedule Updated

Sun 01-Oct Travel On plane
Mon 02-Oct Arrive 09:35am / Tokyo Amistra Asagaya
Tue 03-Oct Tokyo
Wed 04-Oct Studio Ghibli then Fuji Don’t know yet
Thu 05-Oct Fuji train to Kyoto K’s House
Fri 06-Oct Kyoto
Sat 07-Oct Kyoto
Sun 08-Oct Kyoto train to Takayama Takayama Centoral Hotel
Mon 09-Oct Takayma Festival
Tue 10-Oct Travel to Osen Hotel Yunoshimakan
Wed 11-Oct Travel to Hiroshima Hotel Flex
Thu 12-Oct Memorial & Miyajima
Fri 13-Oct Travel to Tokyo A capsule hotel
Sat 14-Oct Final Shopping Amistra Asagaya
Sun 15-Oct Travel On Plane

Ok, so it’s not that much more detailed, but there are now some links to where I’ll be staying and you’ll notice a couple of unconfirmeds.

On Friday the 13th I’m planning on finding a capsule hotel; well I’m in Tokyo, it’s just got to be done really.

On Wednesday 4th I’ll be in the Fuji area, if the weather is mild I’m still tempted to do a night hike up Fuji-San to watch the dawn from the top. But October is well outside the climbing season (July & August) so I’m not sure what the conditions will be like. So on the other hand I could just find a cheap hostel.

Hmm  a little bit of Google has produced the following quotes…

It is danger especially to climb in winter, from October to May.
For a more “wild” experience I would suggest climbing the mountain in October.
Those wishing to climb Mt. Fuji in the off season face considerable danger…
From October to May, climbing to the summit is highly perilous due to extreme wind and weather conditions and a high risk of avalanches.

Mount Fuji 7th October 2003

So a hostel it is then I think…..