25 hours on a plane? That’s too damn long!
Old El Paso kid: Why don’t you break it up?
Whereas my last stop over in Japan was during the day, this one was at night. I would be landing around 5pm and would fly out the next day at 10am. Not a lot of time, especially since I planned on sleeping for most of it, but it would do. I booked a hostel in Asakusa as there’s a direct line from the airport (ain’t nobody got time for transfers) and since I’d been to Shibuya/Harajuku already I was keen to see a quieter, more traditional side of Tokyo.
The first thing I noticed when I got off the plane is just how humid Japan is! It was drizzling a bit like last time and was like walking through a greenhouse. I made my way through customs, bought my train ticket and the sun slowly set as we made our way into the city.
It was dark by the time I arrived in Asakusa but the streets were lit up with ornamental gates and giant billboards. I followed the directions to the hostel, getting lost briefly until I could make out the distinctive sounds of loud foreigners (why are English speakers always so loud??).
Dropping off my things in the dorm I headed out again, camera in hand, to explore a little. I made a bee-line for the Senso-ji temple and walked through the alleys which by day are crowded with souvenir vendors and food stalls and at night are shut up with illustrations on the doors.
My stomach was still feeling strange from the plane so I wasn’t really in the mood to eat, but I was in Japan, I had to eat something! I found a little restaurant and ordered udon soup off the menu. An older man at the table opposite kept trying to engage me in conversation, even though it was obvious I had no idea what he was saying… still he persisted. I managed to explain that I was from New Zealand and he looked it up on his phone, quizzing me about the different landmarks and cities. So much for a quiet meal!
By 10:30 I was heading back to the hostel, feeling rather exhausted and not too eager for my 5:30 start the next morning. But what an amazing feeling to have a shower and lie down in a bed!
Here are some snaps from the next morning: