Typing isn’t all that easy though, I keep clicking on the wrong button and end up with strange signs, it look Chinese to me (Japanese joke)
Second general notice: Japan doesn’t have a proper phone system, or at least one that likes my phone, so I am not reachable this week on that device. Sorry about that!
Ok, time for juicy stories:
Amsterdam to Tokyo
At 9AM I left yesterday, eh today, eh well, September 4th (you know, that day you all went to work) together with my parents and my 100 (read: 20) kilos of luggage.
Of course I couldn’t eat a thing and didn’t like saying goodbye, but nobody there wanted to buy my ticket off of me, so I had to go! haha. Luckily we flew above London a while later and the tension dropped and my mood lifted.
Going through customs was a journey on its own by the way, the shoes had to come off and all liquids; deodorant, tooth paste and what not could be found all over Heathrow before the gates. Nothing came through and waiting took very long because of it, but eventually we got to finally leave.
And that how it’s all wrapped up…
On Board Entertainment
In the plane to Tokyo I didn’t sit next to the window, but that wasn’t too bad as I could stretch my legs on the aisle every now and then and I didn’t have to climb over two people to get to the toilet.
My neighbour soon started a conversation, which was quite fun. We looked at photos (thanks girls for the book, already a success!) and exchanged some Japanese words. He was amazed at what I already knew and so was I to be honest.
WORD OF THE DAY Kanpai! (Cheers!)
This man turned out to be not just any Japanese guy, no, he was a director and composer and just came from Prague from the Mlada Praha international music festival. That’s right. I read in the booklet that he gave me that he was ‘president-prof. Yoshifumi Nakajima of the Kunitachi College of Music of Tokyo’ was.
Yes, when Nienke makes friends, she does it well.
So now I’m sitting here with a business cards, phone number and an invitation to meet next week for a guided tour through the city. Ha! He even invited me to stay in his house when he wasn’t there to save money, as he isn’t at home often and always rents out his place to foreigners (often musicians)
But it didn’t end, he checked the best way for me to get to my hostel and two of his students (also on board) helped me find the subway (‘follow us. heeheehee’) So basically, I didn’t have to use my brain once.
If I knew travelling would be that easy, I would have done it much more sooner, haha.
dinner of the day – crap with sticks
breakfast: no idea what this is supposed to be
Arrival in Japan: on to Asakusa
The place where I am now, Asakusa, I’ve found to be mispronouncing horribly (in my Amsterdam accent) as ahsahkoosah, but now I know it’s supposed to be more like ahsaksah. I learn something every day, don’t I?
With 20 kilos on my bag making my way through the old center of town in 30 degrees Celsius is also something I won’t forget, just like the thought that with a flowing skirt, blonde hair and 1m72 height, I won’t be noticed that much in Tokyo.
Some people look at me as if there is sushi growing from my nose, old men have never waved to a woman so full of passion and the kids keep shouting to me asking where I’m from. Crazy Tokyo!
TO PRACTICE AT HOME: Sumimasen, Sakura Hostel wa doko desuka? – Excuse me, where is the Sakura Hostel?
The hostel is very nice, a lovely bed (was alone in my 6-bed dorm, but now an American girl checked in) and an amazing free long + hot + clean + quiet shower. It’s almost like a holiday!
my hostel – brand new!
alley behind the hostel
my current state
the kitchen, also Japanese-size, of course :)
the keyboard-situation at the moment… confusing!
Asakusa, the part of the city where I’m now, is so incredibly pretty. I’ve walked some streets more than 4 times and didn’t even notice because I can’t read a thing, but it really doesn’t matter.
I did eat some sushi -as you’re supposed to- at a small place, even though it was hard to ignore the 2 (!) Mc Donald’s.
TIP OF THE DAY: don’t eat too much raw fish, or you’ll end up with gills.
There is also a Kentucky here. Hmmm. Anyway. Another day tomorrow. Then I’m off to the ZOO,
shoo.. looking at panda’s. Buy-Bye!
My hostel is literally behind all this!
Love all these signs, notes and drawers that I don’t understand!
I just ordered this, yummy!
I can stand here al day and watch people
Planning a Trip to Japan? Here are some great resources:
- Skyscanner – Find the best flights to Japan
- Booking.com – Find the best hotels in Japan
- World Nomads – Find the best travel insurance
- Get Your Guide – The most popular tours & activities around Japan
- ViaHero – Get help planning a trip to Japan from a local
- Magical Trip – Discover Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto at night with a local tour guide
- G Adventures – Group travel to Japan
- Intrepid Travel – Group travel to Japan
This blog originally appeared on www.nienkeinaustralie.blogspot.com – 5 September 2006