We are in Japan. The first couple of days were interesting.
We managed to catch the flight from Brisbane to Sydney fine, all good. Except for the girl in the middle seat next to me who was checking her FB, Instagram, something else social media until the last couple of minutes. Just an odd insight into what the young people are doing now (I felt old as she was doing this). Then she had two of the tiny wine bottles and got “drunk on the flight LOL”. A very quiet, not doing anything drunk.
Then we landed and I hurried G and M to the international terminal. There were some complaints about the speed, but we didn’t have much time before the next flight. And then the flight was delayed at least half an hour (increments of 15 minutes each time) because of a computer fault. Not what I wanted to hear, especially after a 99 percent podcast (I think it may also have been this American life) about the Air France crash a few years ago.
But the flight was fine, even if the other two didn’t get much sleep.
We landed on time, cleared immigration and the first two of our bags came through. I began to think we would make the first skylines train to the city. Ha, no. The third bag did not arrive. We had to report it, and there were a few being reported, so it appears that a few were left behind in Sydney!? Even though the baggage people had extra time. So, on that cheery note, we headed into Tokyo. And of course, it was M’s bag. If either of the other two had gone missing, G and I both had at least one outfit in the other bag. So we get into Ueno, shove the suitcases into a locker and have coffee at Starbucks. After coffee, we realise that key travel docs (our train cards) are in the said locker. Fun times. Did I mention it is hot and humid? We head over to Shinjuku and to the Tokyo metropolitan offices, where there are free observatories of the 40th floors (two towers, two observatories). This is where we find out there is a scout jamboree in town. We were in line a little behind the Swedish contingent.
The observatory was nice- we went to the one we didn’t see last time and it had a much smaller souvenir shop and a better-located cafe, so it was possible to look out over all sides.
Then back down to earth and a visit to Takashimaya.
We had a lovely sushi lunch there and then G and M went to Uniqlo in search of clothes and I went looking for Yuzawaya. I knew it was in the building, I have been there before, but I struggled to find it.
Once we were finished shopping, we headed to the hotel. Where the pre-loaded credit cards with the money for the room did not work. At all. We have used them before, so it was frustrating. In the end, I just put it on my credit card, and those cards became spending money. Which is both good and bad.
And G and M pretty much crashed at that point. I still had energy, so I looked around the neighbourhood.
Next day, we went to Hakone. I have been before, G has been once. So, it started looking less impressive when the ticket guy said the rope way to the volcanic valley was closed. No probs we’ll take the bus there. No, closed because the whole area is off-limits due to volcanic activity. So one thing gone but we went to the open-air museum. As always amazing!
We finished, rode up the funicular and back down, then went looking for the bus to the pirate ship (as the rope way wasn’t working) only to be told that because the weather was bad (and it was, windy and raining) no pirate ship either. Not so happy.
So we took the little train back down the mountain and the romance train back to Tokyo. A bit frustrating, as both the volcanic valley and the pirate ship are fun. Then we wandered around Shinjuku a bit. Then bag to the hotel, where the last bag had been delivered.