To the Island!

I'll take your visit to this blog as interest in how the current trip to Tokyo, Japan is going.  Luckily if you're just tuning in you haven't missed much.  Thursday afternoon (EST) I got on a 12-hour direct flight  from DTW to NRT (Narita International Airport).  As usual I didn't get much sleep, but the flight went without a hitch.

Once on the ground at Narita I followed the crowd through a series hallways towards customs.  Eventually I went on cruise control until I heard a voice saying "Foreign! Foreign!".  Only then did I snap out of it in time to see she was referring to me and summoning my towards the line for foreigners.  I guess it's a little different to be the foreigner once again :-P.  Aside from that I had a very quick stop at customs before I needed to figure out how to get to my bus to the hotel.  I switched some money at the in-house currency exchange then walked outside after an unsuccessful attempt at interpreting the terminal bus map (it turns out maps are only really helpful if you can read the language they are written in).  Only having a few clues from the bus time table I had printed out I walked around for a little bit.  After politely declining a taxi I reviewed the clues I had:     1. I "might" need a reservation and 2. I would be riding a "limousine bus".  Not 10 seconds later did I look up to see two charter busses branded with "Limousine Bus" cruise on by.  With that mystery cleared up I focused on finding a ticket stand because it looked like most people were using tickets.  Once back inside I quickly found the stand and got my ticket.  From there I waited for the bus, the station attendants were very good about checking our tickers will in advance to make sure we were at the correct stop.

The bus travelled for about 1.5 hours, from the Narita airport about 50 miles into Roppongi. Upon arriving and checking in I VC'd with some co-workers who were just getting on shift at 6 AM back in the U.S.   The hotel I'm staying in is quite nice... and only a short walk (<5 minutes) from the office here.

The following day I got up at 9 and relaxed until about 11.  At that point I wandered around Mori tower for a little over an hour before finally settling on a place to eat.  It was a place called Rigoletto.  They had a menu with English on it and some cool holiday special going (drink, soup, salad, appetizer, main course, and dessert for 1800JPY).  While I didn't know this initially, apparently the whole kitchen staff welcomes you when you sit down.  The waiter seated me and yelled something then every on the kitchen responded with something. I didn't understand what either group said but I think the person doing the seating says something along the lines of "X more" (x being the number of peopler joining).

Anyways, that's as exciting as things go today (I took a nice long nap as well).  As usual, click here or the picture in the post for more pictures.  Until next time... さようなら!

~MJ

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