Monday, May 08, 2006

The Tokyo Experience: Day 2

This post could have also been titled "The day that began horribly and stayed that way until the last eight hours or so."

When we last left our trio of Westerners on the streets of Tokyo, they were debating where to go next and had decided on seeing Tsukiji fish market.

Tsukiji fish market is one of the world's busiest and most famous fish markets. The times to visit it are from 5am to 8am and since we had been up all night anyways, we decided that Tuesday was the day to see Tsukiji. The first leg of the journey had us boarding a train from Shibuya and going to Tokyo Station. Tokyo proper is very small in comparison to the greater Tokyo area. There isn't a great deal to see in the actual ward of Tokyo other than the Imperial Palace, some business highrises, and the historical Tokyo Station. In order to get to Tsukiji, we had to walk away from the station, through two other wards, one of them being Ginza, and finally to Tsukiji. We decided to take one more train that would get us a tad closer before walking and this is where the trouble began. Upon hitting that station, the walking tunnel that went in the direction we needed to go was closed. We ended up going streetside and asking for directions from a man we passed. The guy seemed to know what he was talking about and pointed us in a direction and from there, we walked....and walked....and walked. Once we realized that the guy either didn't know where he was pointing, intentionally mislead us, or we didn't understand his directions, it was already a little past 7am. On the walk back, I managed to see a park that sits next to Tsukiji but with very little time left to walk there and the three of us going on no sleep, we decided to cancel the trip. We took a bus back to the train station and then took the train back to Shibuya to get the car out of the parking garage.

Upon hitting the parking garage, we ended up paying $60.00 for our parking spot and not knowing what else to do, we drove out of Tokyo to a rest area and slept for a couple of hours. Our general plan was to meet up with our Australian friends, Ben and Monique and then go to the apartment we had booked for three nights. What ended up happening was totally different. The guy that was in charge of meeting us at and providing us directions to our apartment was incommunicado and had been for several days. I had tried emailing him, calling him, and to no avail. We were supposed to meet him in a matter of hours and we still didn't know exactly where the apartment was at. Ben and Monique called us around 11:30am and upon getting their call we began going back into Tokyo. It was pouring rain and extremely overcast. By 12:30, we had decided that we should start looking for another place to stay since the jerk-off in charge of our previous accomodations had disappeared from the face of the Earth. We called Ben and Monique who were in Shinjuku and had them start looking for a place to stay as well. We didn't care where we stayed as long as it could hold all five of us, had free parking, and wasn't horribly expensive.

We parked the car in Meguro and split up, I took one direction and Karie and Reid took the other. I walked for the better part of three miles, finding one hotel that was not able to help us out. Fortunately, Karie and Reid had found one that fit our needs nicely and we booked our room. The catch was that although the hotel itself had no parking, it was working with a lot that would only charge us $30.00 a day to park there. This was a lot cheaper than over $100.00 a day to park so we settled on the Hotel Watson.

We then went to meet up with Ben and Monique and took them back to the hotel so we could all unpack and unwind for a bit. The room was very nice for a double room and there were other things near the hotel that were handy as well. One of those things was Wendys. Since leaving the States, I had not eaten at Wendys and I was sick and tired of McDonalds. Ben and Monique had never eaten at Wendys so we decided it was time to introduce them. Unlike McDonalds, Wendys' Japanese menu does not vary much from its American counterpart. Excellent. Having not had Wendys in almost six months, it was good to taste it again. Ben and Monique also be came instantly addicted.

Overall, the day ended well. The funny part was that around 2:30pm the guy that was supposed to meet us at our apartment messaged me and said he hoped he had reached me in time and gave me a lame excuse about his girlfried getting in a wreck three days prior and still being shaken up by it. I replied that I found it hard to understand why he could not have left her side for thirty seconds to call or message me. Since I had been trying to contact him for almost a week. I didn't hear back.

Anywho, day two was a strain on the nerves but we were all happy to be together again and eat at Wendys. Day three promised to be better and we all slept well that night, especially Reid, Karie, and myself seeing we had not slept in almost two days. Since the room we got was a double and I was the only one there without a significant other, I slept in between the two beds. It made for a bizarre, but fun sleepover/slumber party atmosphere that we all enjoyed.


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