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26 July 2008 @ 10:24 am
Tokyo Blog, Day 1: A Success!  
I'm in Tokyo!!  And it's fantastic.  After two and a half days of visit with my dad & stepmom, and then another two day visit with my mom, and a night spent at Hawk & Miranda's house (all of which were amazing and fabulous and just good in multiple ways that I won't try to describe here) I got on an airplane and arrived in this city!

Not only that, when I landed last night I managed to get myself to my lodging, jet lag and all.  I called my apartment manager from the airport and decided to forgo buying a cell phone there (something I'm ruing right now because I haven't been able to find a prepaid cell phone yet).  My eyes were so blurry from the contacts being in for the whole flight (you'd better bet I'll be flying home in glasses) that I just wanted to get to my little apartment and settle in.

The apartment itself is ... well, it's not the top notchest of accommodations.  I can stay here for a month without a problem, but trust me when I say that if it was longer than that I'd seriously reconsider.  However, my room is clean and bright and has a magnificent air conditioner (a must for Tokyo in the summer, let me tell you) and a real wardrobe (even if it's tiny) so that I can actually put my clothes away and not have to live out of my suitcase like I did last summer.  And I have a minifridge! 

Last night I got in, got slightly settled, discovered only one of my many tubes of girly creams and cleansers had opened (hey, that's a good in my book), took a shower, made sure I had internet, emailed the family, and crashed.

And this morning not only did I get to get up, I got to talk to my darling man and see him in person!  This skype stuff is wonderful!  Last summer I felt like I was in a dark and dank room trying to chip away at the paint on the windows to see outside (in terms of web access) and this year I feel like I've got a bay window on the web.  (sorry, sucky metaphor, but it kind of works)

Not only that, I accomplished 95% of what I set out to do today: 

  • explored the neighborhood - if you want to check it out here's the google map - basically one of the quieter suburb type places outside of the main center of Tokyo.  It has excessively normal things here - a grocery store, a drug store type place, lots of little lunch places that look a little iffy but not too bad, a lovely pastry place in the train station (this is where i got breakfast, and will definitely be returned to), a gym across the street from my actual apartment complex, and ....  a Coco's Restaurant!  I may have to check that out at some point when I get desperate for breakfast foods.
  • explored Ikebukuro (a little) - it's the next major train stop away from my neighborhood and has tons of stuff since it's kind of a huge shopping place as well as a major pass through from other places - kind of like a hub for airplanes, it's a hub for trains. 
  • found a Hyaku-en store (the Japanese dollar store) and set myself up with some silly little necesseties - clothesline for drying the wash, slip ons to wear in the shower, a little basket to keep my wet shower stuff in, a fan (hey, they come in handy even if it does seem sort of archaic to use them - but it's frikking hot here)
  • Met up with my friend Gabriel in the evening to grab some dinner, and have a couple of drinks.  Sadly he has to work in the morning and I'm still a little jet lagged, so it really was just two drinks.  However, the good part was that one of them was a "vanilla mule" (a variation on a Moscow mule - the Mm is vodka and ginger ale, the Vm is vanilla vodka and ginger ale) at Arty Farty's, the dance club we hung out at so much the last time I was in Tokyo.  And the second was at this little bar Gabriel's been going to that was so ultra cool lounge (and yet so relaxed) that it was awesome.  Besides, Gabriel and I got to catch up from a year of having not seen each other, and he's just generally fantastic, period.
Sadly, as noted above, I did not achieve the buying of a cell phone today - I went into five shops and they all said they didn't do prepaid, and then the one that almost was going to sell me one couldn't because I don't have more than my passport as ID, and they directed me to another store and IT didn't have them even thought it was supposed to be the exception to the rule.  I will be trying again tomorrow, but this whole process is quite frustrating.  Next time I will remember to buy one at the silly airport, no matter how late I get in or tired I am.

Anyway, my day started great and ended great, despite the frustration of the phone in between, and I'm going to bed happy.  I'm also hoping to get myself out to one of Tokyo's gardens tomorrow to walk around - it's been pretty hot here so it might not be the best time to see it, but supposedly it's actually a bunch of mini gardens who were all planned / inspired around a series of poems.   Oh, and Gabriel showed me this fantastic grammar book that he's working through that I really want to get, so perhaps a bookstore visit?  We shall see.
 
 
 
Lostgirllostgirlslair on July 26th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
That's sounds wonderful, sweetie! And now you're in Japan! How cool is that? *G* Other than the weird phone issues, it sounds as if things are going well and I hope they continue to be smooth and easy, darlin'!

The gardens sound beautiful, and bookstores? Are always just plain awesome. ::nods::

::huge, huge hugs from Austin::
my monkied brain: buffywill - *glomp*katekat1010 on July 27th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
It is cool! Just being here is a whole different experience (and so great that it's an experience + internet!)

Bookstores are all around! Only, well, many of them only have stuff in japanese - *doh*. There's a big one in another part of the city that I know of though, so we'll see - I definitely will be checking them out at some point!

I hear you're having coffee tomorrow (my today) with the kids - have a great time darling! I'm sad I won't be there physically, but in spirit I will!

Oh, and I totally thought of you and Renee - outside of one of the train stations here there's an actual Cafe DuMonde! I haven't found it yet, but I'm going to keep my eye out for it.
Lostgirllostgirlslair on August 6th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
That's wonderful, sweetie! And, I imagine that last year you must have felt completely cut off!

We did have coffee! And N brought nummy peaches! *G* You've got a sweet sweetie. ::nods::

Yay! Cafe Du Monde! Have a biegnet for us!

::HUGE HUGS::
EB: Queen of the Social Lepers: kate rocks (take 3)elizabuffy on July 26th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you got in okay! It's too bad the lodging isn't fantastic, but nice to know it's adequate for a month.

Yay for being able to catch up w/ old friends and skype. I wish I had it. :( Good luck with the cell phone.

Catch you later! *loves*

~e!
my monkied brain: buffywill - *glomp*katekat1010 on July 27th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Hi darlin!! Yeah, the room's great but everything else is ... janky. But that's ok, it makes me want to get out and do stuff, which is all to the good!

I will log into im one of these days too to see if i can catch you at some point! And keep your fingers crossed about the cell phone - it is super annoying. *sigh* but at least... Japan!

*squishes you to pieces*
kate
apothespisis: squeeapothespisis on July 27th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
I'm totally taking credit for your good fortune because I've been praying to the travel and lodging gods ever since you told us you were going to Japan. *nods* Because everything is about me. And if it's not, it doesn't matter.

Unless it's about YOU! *glomps* I'm so glad you got there safe and sound and are settling in to your reasonable accommodations (I demanded better for you, but Hermes was totally being fickle). OMG, Japanese dollar store! You have no idea how much that excites me! STFU, I am not pathetic! But I might be hyper. Probably from that cake frosting I just ate right out the can. *beams*

Anyway, *hugshughugs* I miss you already and I know you're going to have a fabulous time and become even MORE fabulous than you already. If such a thing is possible. Which I'm not sure it is. You're a lot like Cordelia that way: just teeming with fabulousity! *nods*

Take lots of pictures! *tackles*