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Tokyo!

Today we left Kyoto and set off to Tokyo!
We had our suitcases sent with takyuubin, which is a service that delivers your suitcases at your hotel so you won't have to drag them around. It proved to be a good choice to do so!

This is the view from the hotel in Kyoto and a photo Faried took of me this morning.

 

We had lunch at Kyoto Central Station and then bought our tickets for the Shinkansen (or bullet train).
Leaving for Tokyo with only our bags and Faried's guitar seemed like a scene of NANA ha ha!! Just need a pack of cigarettes ^^
The train ride took about 2½ hours which I used to relax and read in some of the books I took with me, and a rather obscure magazine I bought here called Nail Up! I had hoped to see Mt. Fuji but it was too foggy ._.



We arrived in Tokyo at 3 o'clock and took the JR (Japanese Railways) to Shinjuku where our hotel is located. We stay in the New City Hotel for 3 nights and then move to Asia Center hotel. On the way there I could get some views of Tokyo and it is truly amazing to see it in real!
I know it from the movies and drama's, but I was still surprised how high the buildings were and how many people are hurrying down the streets.
The underground station of Shinjuku is huge and has 6 exits and we got totally lost. In the end we took the subway and arrived at the hotel an hour and a half later. By that time we were very tired, and very thankful we didn't have our suitcases with us.
We rested for a bit and then met up with Kayoko at six in front of our hotel for dinner. Kayako is a friend of Mariana, who is a colleague of Faried at work. Neither Faried or I had met her before, but we got along really well.
Faried was very tired so it was mostly me and Kayoko talking, but I managed well and Kayako even complimented my Japanese a few times. This is a supermotivater to study more and improve lots!
We talked a lot about our favorite (Japanese) series and such and we have a lot of interests in common.

She took us to a great Sushi restaurant called Sushizaban in Tsukijishijo. It is right beside a famous fish market, so all the fish they used were super-fresh! We ate sitting at the bar, with the chefs making the sushi right in front of us. You order a few at a time and the chef makes it for you. Kayako ordered for us and told us a lot about different kinds of sushi and whats special about them. The chefs put wasabi (a very hot green spice!) on almost all sushi, and normally I don't use so it's was a bit of a trial for me, but I took a liking to it in the end. Most sushi we had I've never even seen in Dutch sushi-bars and they we're all incredibly delicious!! We even had Ootoro! (the fattest part of the belly of tuna, and very expensive) Ootoro definitely ranks among the most delicious things I've ever eaten.

 
Left photo: me en Faried enjoying our sushi  Right photo: Ootoro

I loved how the chefs we're very genki (energetic) and yelled welcomes together at every guest that entered. The chef that prepared our sushi recommended us many good things and it was obvious in how he enjoyed doing his job.
At one point one of the chefs took a very large fish from an aquarium and held it up for everyone to see. Apparently today was a special day, and they would make ready the fish right away and you could order it. It thought of making sushi super super-fresh and serving it immediately I found very fascinating, but when they actually stabbed it and prepared it I was also somewhat shocked. We didn't have it in the end.

Then Kayoko took us to a government building close to our hotel (I forgot the name) where there was supposed to be a great view of the Tokyo skyline. The elevator took us 45 stories up in less then a minute! It made my ears pop.
When we got up there was an beautiful space with a cute Toy Shop shaped like a garden and a beautiful cafe. And behind the windows... the beautiful skyline of Tokyo.
It was so incredibly beautiful and inspiring.. again photo's just don't do it justice.




Me and Kayoko with Tokyo Skyline in the background

It is really very wide, all around you the view is amazing. Just magical.
We took photos and walked around the Toy Shop and had fun looking at the many extraordinary things they sold there. We also squeezed into a purikura booth together. ('Print Club', little photo stickers you can make together and funky up a bit with decorations)
After that we went into this absolutely stunning bar that was amazingly lit up and had a view on the most beautiful part of the skyline with Tokyo Tower. We had cocktails (I had a grasshopper) while enjoying beautiful live piano music(!) and the million lights that are Tokyo.
The atmosphere was fabulous, almost ethereal and I was very thankful to be there.

A fantastic first impression of Tokyo!
Kayako-san, thank  you so much for a great evening!
 

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