We arrived in Tokyo exhausted and half-asleep (on the plane ride over, I watched 3 movies! There were so many options in the airline entertainment center!), and all we wanted was a nice hot shower and a big comfy bed. We took a taxi for the Tokyo City Air Terminal to our hotel, the Prince Park Tower Tokyo. My dad’s patient knew someone who worked there, so we were able to get an upgrade into the suite, but little did we know what that actually meant. When we opened the door to the room, we were so surprised! It was a Japanese style suite, complete with tatami mats, sliding doors, and best of all…a Japanese style bathroom. That basically means huge hot tub. So divine! We definitely took 10+ baths during our stay there.
The first morning, we woke up nice and early thanks to jet lag, so ventured out to Tsukiji fish market. We didn’t have any directions so basically just followed the fish smell to the craziness that is the market. I realized I only took pictures of the fish with my film camera, so I shall have to wait to show those. But it was a fun and hectic place! All sorts of sea creatures freshly dead or barely alive. Oops, that sounds horrendously morbid. There are a ton of sushi bars that line the outside of the market, and eating the fresh fish there makes me think I can never appreciate sushi not from Japan ever again. We also tried some nabeyaki udon and soba at a noodle shop which was super tasty.
Determined to see as many cherry blossoms as possible, we headed out to Ueno Park by taking the JR. I will probably be raving out Japanese public transportation for forever. So quick! So quiet! So efficient! The park itself was very crowded, but still lovely! It was very fun to walk around and look at the fun foods that the vendors were selling. Like roasted fishes in a circle!
We also made it out to Harajuku to do a little sightseeing and shopping (hellooo Muji), as well as try Ichiran ramen. You press buttons designating which toppings you want on your ramen, pay, get a ticket, sit in a booth thing with a small window through which your ramen is speedily delivered. I was shocked at how tasty the ramen was! Thick, rich broth and noodles firm and chewy. Man I am craving that ramen right now.
Okay, back with more soon!