My first night in Japan was good. I landed at Narita and managed to find the train station. I took a very futuristic train straight to Shibuya which is the area I am staying in. I walked out of the train station and came to terms with the fact that there was no way I could hope of navigating my way to my hotel from there so I accepted fate and hailed a cab. Thus began the Gong show I will call Talking to Japanese (In English). People are really patient and sweet and they talk to me in Japanese and I talk in English and we both giggle and mime our way through. I feel like an ignorant Westerner, which I am, but at least I kind of know my Asia, so I feel much more prepared for Tokyo at night than I would have a year ago.
Found the hotel, it is very cute. It`s a little boutique hotel and my room is adorable and tiny. The toilet has a permanently heated seat and an automatic flusher and all sorts of bidet functions I dont want to explore for fear of the fact that one of them I think is some sort of enema. I just hope I dont hit the wrong button in a stupour one night and get more than Id bargained for.
I went out exploring Shibuya and it took me a while to find Shibuya crossing, but when I did, holy pants. Its the place you always see int he movies of Japan, with the insane flashing lights and videos blaring commercials and thousands of people crossing the street. It is beautiful and crazy and everything I had hoped it would be.
Some young guy took my hand while I was crossing the street and told me I was very beautiful and that he loved me. I laughed and laughed and showed him pictures of Ben on my phone. I used my translator to say that he doesnt know me so he cant possibly love me but he insisted that I smell good and I am a genius. I think these are some of the only English words he knew. I laughed and laughed and then wandered away while he was on the phone.
I had an awesome Shiatsu massage that was the perfect thing for just having got off a 7 hour plane ride and went home to bed. It is raining a lot here right now so I`m trying to think what to do with myself. I want to see some sumo and the Imperial Palace and do some shopping. Harajuku is supposed to be awesome on Sunday nights so I think I am going to head there tonight. I dont know why Sunday night but I`ll let you know and get back to you.
Essentially, I feel like the other places I`ve travelled in Asia have prepared me in slow steps for Japan. My friend Kelli said that she has felt like Japan is real Asia, like dark, totally different, inaccessible Asia and she`s right in a way. But I think that it all comes together to make sense here.
Coming here on my own in some ways is more scary than it was to go to Singapore because Singaporeans speak English and there was someone there on the other side to meet me. That being said, its one of the most exciting things Ive ever done and Im so glad I have. This is certainly one of those things I will have in my heart, a memory that will last until my inevitable strokes wipe them out.
More to come, also, I would like you all to notice that I have sorted out this Japanese keyboard and that there are no kanji characters at all. I am a goddess of sorting stuff out.