I’ve arrived in Japan!

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Thirteen and a half hours later and I’ve arrived in Tokyo, Japan. The flight was pretty uneventful, however I must say I love the 747. So much more opportunity to move around the cabin and not be too cramped in my seat.

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The onboard entertainment is pretty sweet…you connect to their WiFi using your own device and choose from a bunch of movies and TV shows that are on demand for free. It even pauses when they make announcements….pretty high tech. I tend to get movie ADD on planes so I watched: Friends, part of a documentary on Hawaii, part of Frozen, part of Forrest Gump, Delivery Man, Austin & Ally, A Christmas Carol, plus read magazines and books.

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It’s also nice that they provide lunch, a mid flight snack and then breakfast. It’s rare that you get anything on flights these days, but I guess as you’re trapped on the plane for almost 14 hours they have to feed you! The nice Japanese lady beside me didn’t want some of her food and offered it to me, so of course I took advantage. Right before the mid flight snack I was ravenous, and scarfed everything down pretty quick.

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Random moment: One of the flight attendants looked just like Bradley Cooper. Seriously they could be brothers. I kept doing double take a because the resemblance was spot on:

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Let’s talk about the sleep situation….slept a bit. I popped a sleeping pill right after lunch and waited for it to work it’s magic. No luck…I think I slept for about an hour and a half in and out. So I took another one. I was wide awake for the middle of the flight then about 4 hours before we landed I passed out for a couple of hours. Total sleep time: about 4 hours or so. I’ve set all my clocks to Tokyo time and am just going to stay awake until a normal time tonight and then be set!

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Managed to navigate the two different train lines from the airport to the hostel. Wandered through the shops of Asakusa on my way. Can’t wait to take it all on once I’ve had a good sleep! Hopefully I can adjust easily to local time because tomorrow I head to Tokyo Disney Sea! I have been waiting to visit this theme park from the moment it was announced. Iany other Disney park on earth. They also have their very own version of The Magic Kingdom, which I will also be visiting. If you think I’m crazy for traveling to the other side of the world to visit a theme park, you don’t know me very well. However I will be taking in a couple of days of non theme park tourism, so I can see the real Tokyo and the awesomeness of Japan! Now off to grab a bite to eat, drink some sake and get a good nights sleep!

The Surreal Life

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After successfully navigating to my hostel using the very complicated yet super easy to use train system, I decided to head out and explore a bit before I headed to bed.

It’s was very strange sitting in a Japanese style quick service restaurant last night and realizing I’m actually in Japan. As I was walking down the street and looking at all the shops and signage, I kept thinking I’ll turn a corner and see the CN Tower in Toronto. I popped into what the nice girl at the hostel dubbed “Japanese fast food” after I asked for a place that is quick and cheap. The cool thing is you use a vending style machine to select and pay for your meal, then hand the ticket to the server at the diner style seating area. I ate a delicious pork & rice dish, along with tofu soup…I think. I attempted using chopsticks, but quickly got frustrated and used my spoon. I’m sure this is the case with many westerners!

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I wandered around the area and walked into this Japanese arcade filled with Pachinko machines. It smelled of smoke and reminded me of the slot area in casinos, but much louder with a billion times more flashing lights. I have no idea what was going on, but it was really energetic and exciting!

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I don’t know if it’s jet lag, the uncomfortable bed, excitement, or a mix of all three but I cannot get back to sleep. It’s 4am! After tossing and turning for the past hour, I’ve given up on the sleep thing and am now here on the computer in the common room sipping green tea. I was planning on getting up at 6:30am, so I’m only up a couple of hours early. Tonight I should be able to pass out after a 14 hour day at Tokyo Disney Sea.

In unrelated news, I finally got the notification to update my phone software to Android Lollipop. That took about an hour last night and I thought everything was ok. It is not, my phone is totally janked up and I now need to factory reset it. Don’t do the upgrade on your phone, especially if you’re on a trip! I’m currently working on erasing and resetting my phone. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m up early?

Language Barrier & Customs

So far I’ve survived my first couple of days after getting used to a few nee things. Walking into places and having people bow is strange yet super cool. I actually had to Google why they do it and when it’s appropriate. I also wanted to learn how to day “hello” as walking up to someone and starting to speak English just seems rude to me. Between saying Konnichiwa (hello) and Arigato (thank you) with a smile on my face, I feel much more comfortable asking people for help. Hopefully I can pick up a few more phrases as I go.
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Speaking of customs…the toilet. I was apprehensive about using the bidet but I figured when in Rome! It was strange yet kinda cool at the same time. I get it now…plus the heated toilet seat also made the entire bathroom experience awesome.
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Transit here is the most confusing and insane experience ever. I feel lost every time I get off a train, yet am managing to get where I need to go. Locals have been helpful to this foreigner, the puzzled and confused look on my face tells the whole story!
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Food: Japan has these cool vending machines literally everywhere…train stations, streets and even tiny alleys. I thought I was purchasing an iced coffee drink in a can…instead it came out hot to my surprise. It was very tasty..but I unexpected for it to be cold!oimage
Of course everywhere the food is awesome, and I’ve become accustom to eating things with a bunch of unidentifiable ingredients. As long as it tastes good I’m fine with that!