Arriving in Japan
26 Sep 2005
Well here I am. I`m writing this on a kanjii-enabled keyboard on the 7th floor of our hotel in Shinagawa - the Shinagawa Prince. I`ve only seen hotels like this when I was in Las Vegas all those years ago - it`s enormous. There are thousands of rooms - the hotel is divided into about half a dozen buildings and has it`s own shopping mall, aquarium (with shark tunnel and dolphinarium), two cinemas and an IMAX, two bowling alleys (two!) and sixteen restaurants. It`s mammoth - essentially a city within a city - within a city, as Shinagawa is huge as of itself. Anyway, we arrived with no problems from Sydney, as overnight flights go it was reasonable. The plane had a party of 104 Japanese schoolkids returning from language schools in Australia, but they were down the back of the 747.
So what are my first impresssions of Japan? Well, I`ve spent so long planning this trip, reading about it, etc, that it was pretty much as I was expecting. That`s not to say it was a disappointment - the exact opposite, it`s amazing. Tokyo is so vast, so busy, so hyped with energy. The 25th floor view we have overlooks the grey tower blocks of the central city, merging with the smoggy haze hanging over the city. In the distance we can see the Bladerunner-esque lights of Shinjuku glittering away. Eveything is fast paced, people bow to you, taxi drivers wear white gloves, there are vending machines everywhere, Japanese TV is bizarre - it`s all present and correct. You just have to go into a supermarket and see how alien a place you`ve arrived in. I can`t wait to explore more tomorrow.
Locations Visited: Tokyo