Hello from China!

Well, I’ve been in Beijing for a day after a week in Japan and another couple days in Shanghai, but if I don’t start blogging now I might never catch up. So, a brief bit about our trip to Tokyo! I’ve got to write fast because we really need to get to bed, so here I go…we’ll see how far I get, but I’ll try my best to catch you all up.

We left Toronto on Sunday January 18th early, and despite a bunch of delays in leaving Pearson, we were able to make our connection in Chicago to get on our Japan Airlines flight. The plane was pretty underbooked, so we had three seats for the two of us, which was nice – but 13 hours is still way too long to be sitting on a plane! I think I watched bits of Mamma Mia and Wall-e a bunch of times.

We landed (thanks to the time change) in Tokyo on Monday in the afternoon and took the train from Narita to Tokyo, then the subway to what would be our home-base train station, Ikebukuro. I had a bit of a freakout in Shinjuku station when we needed to change onto a very crowded train in rush hour.

ikebukuro

First impressions? Well, definitely disbelief that we were in Japan! There were lots of lights and lots to look at. The first night we just went to the hotel, then took a bit of a walk around the area, and tried to find vegetarian food (a theme for our trip, really).

The next morning we headed out and took another walk around, checked out the Ueno area, had soba for lunch (turning a blind eye to whatever was in the broth, probably fish) and walked around Akihabara. Akihabara (Electric City) is an area with a ton of shops selling all sorts of electronics and such.

Akihabara

Wednesday we were able to meet up with an awesome reader, Rhonda, who offered to take us (okay, me) yarn and crafty shopping. We went out to a cool neighbourhood whose name escapes me at the moment – at any rate, it was a really cute, interesting neigbourhood that we wouldn’t have ventured out to on our own. First stop? Avril – aka Habu!

at avril

My photos kind of suck, but I did end up with some yummy yarn – photos of that will have to wait though. Rhonda was awesome enough to look up a nearby vegetarian restaurant, which was probably the first really satisfying veggie meal of our trip. After lunch, we headed to Yuzawaya, a crazy huge department store which was all crafty stuff! They really have everything – yarn, fabric, beads, everything.

yuzawaya craziness!

No yarn for me here, but I did pick up a bunch of Japanese books.

When we split from Rhonda, we headed out to Tokyo station to walk by the Imperial Palace and out to Ginza to check out some shops.

Tokyo station

(Tokyo station’s under rather major renovation/restoration.)

Whew. Long post! Up next, an excursion on the bullet train!

19 Responses to “Days 1-4: Travel and Tokyo”

  1. Maria Naveiro

    We were missing you Laura! Loved the pictures and cannot wait for more postings of your exciting trip!

    Cheers,

    Maria

    Reply
  2. Bruxa

    Glad to hear from you! I’m taking note of that Yuzawaya place to visit it when I go to Japan next year ;)

    Reply
  3. Cheryl from Creemore

    Laura! It was great to see that you landed safely! You’ve been missed!

    Reply
  4. grumperina

    That electric city looks… too much! How can you take it all in?!? So much input. Good luck with your food quest – a friend who keeps Kosher had a similar complaint when he went to Japan. Had to turn a blind eye, just like you :)

    Reply
  5. patricia fontes

    Glad to hear from you, and to know you are doing good and enjoying your trip! Keep us posted! we miss you! take care, and a safe trip back home!

    Reply
  6. Andrea

    It looks like you actually got out of the airport on New Year’s after all!
    Habu? So. Jealous.
    Keep ’em coming!

    Reply
  7. SpiderWomanKnits

    Wow! Thanks for sharing these pictures. Sitting here in rural VT it’s quite a trip for me to even just see your photos. What a contrast! It sounds like you are having a great time :-)

    Reply
  8. millie

    a tip for China – they don’t really “get” vegetarianism – unless you tell them you’re Buddhist – then you can get some good food.

    Reply
  9. mai

    i’m so jealous of your awesome trip! i hope you’re having a blast. enjoy yourself and remember to make time to just relax.

    Reply
  10. gleek

    yay! the blog is working again! just wanted to say that your trip is looking great so far! hopefully you are now having a great time in india :)

    Reply
  11. Allison

    Your photos are making me nostalgic for Tokyo! I loved visiting that city so much. I was also lucky enough to get to Yuzawaya. I can’t wait to see which books you bought.

    Reply

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