Waking up in the morning inside the capsule was kind of unnerving, I couldn't remember where I was at first and I began to panic. After realizing I calm down and it finally set into my brain that I wasn't anywhere near home.
We made our way to the Shinkansen (the bullet train) station. A few notes on Japanese subway and train stations.
1) They never smell like piss
2) They are more or less immaculate
3) Trains always run on time, and run frequently
While we were waiting for the train we decided to get some traditional Japanese bento lunch boxes, having absolutely no idea what they said on them we just looked at the pictures and took our best guess. They turned out to be absolutely nasty, I definitely felt sick afterwards.
a couple shots outside my window moving at approximately 180mph. everything between Osaka and Tokyo was just farms, mountains, and slight industrialization. The ride was quick and comfortable, two things Japan is all about: comfort and efficiency.
We stayed in a pretty nice hostel in Asakusa, it was cheap and really clean. The only buzzkill was the amount of backpacking idiots that come through there. Bored youths who came to Japan to spend entire days in the lobby of the hostel on the internet and hanging out with people with similar interest. This actually kind of pissed me off. You have this kids, most from the US, on the entire other side of the world and they're spending their time in a hostel. Didn't make any kind of sense to me, but whatever.
Dudes walking around the Asakusa area and on the subway frightening Japanese girls. The first difference I noticed between Tokyo and Osaka was that of space. Although Tokyo is a highly populated metropolis it doesn't feel cramped the way Osaka does, or New York for another example. The city had a really refreshing open air feeling to it, I particularly liked this.
We met up with Colin Bayer in Shibuya, he's a real chill dude. Shibuya is pretty damn crazy, a smaller cleaner less frustrating Times Square. Normally if I was in crowds like this in New York I would be knee deep in anxiety attacks, but for some reason I felt perfectly comfortable here. Later on in the trip I realized that it had something to do the with the people. As a foreigner (Gaijin) in Japan you're sure of two things; almost no one will make eye contact with you, and no one will bother you. Japanese people are all about keeping to themselves and minding their own business.
We experienced our first big typical tourist fuck-up this night. Looking for a place to eat we found some Hawaiian type restaurant, biggg mistake. The food was ridiculous, I ordered nachos and got about three the hamburgers were 1/16th pounders, they gave us a "free" appetizer that we had to pay for and on the bill was a $25 dollar "service charge". The joke was definitely on us, it made for a funny story at least. There was one positive to this restaurant, the first bit of Engrish on the trip:
y'all down with cheese height alignment?
We spent the rest of the night walking Harajuku and Shibuya in the rain, it was also kind of late so all the stores were closed. Things shutdown at 9 o clock on the dot in Tokyo every night, its insane because you'll be walking around and theres mad people everywhere and shit going on and then all of a sudden its just quiet.
welcome to the biggest Audi dealership in the world, they had a couple R8's in there.
The first day in Tokyo was pretty standard and was kind of a preliminary introduction to the next couple of days. The idea of being Japan had definitely settled in at this point and I had a strange brew of homesickness and wanderlust mixed in the pit of my stomach.