Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tokyo Musings

Last month I went on my first trip to Asia. Japan, to be specific. I've fielded the typical questions about my trip. How did you like it? How was the food? How was the long flight? What was it like? And to be honest, I don't know quite how to answer them. I've been mulling it over for a month now and I finally have some answers to the questions.. So I'm going to empty my brain here with some musings about Japan.



1. First up, how was the long flight? Without going into lots of drama and complaining, my flight to Narita was through a connection in Atlanta. (a 14 hour flight)  My first flight landed a tad bit late so I ran for my flight to Tokyo as it was already boarding. Then we proceeded to sit at the gate for 4 hours. It seems a "check engine" light was on and the necessary repairs took longer than anticipated. We deplaned then as they now needed a new flight crew. So we got back on 2 hours later and left an hour after that with it being a total of a 7 hour delay. Not a good start. There's more but I won't go into that (I did say I wasn't going to do alot of complaining)
Other than that, the flights were long but I was able to sleep some and there was lots of entertainment to keep me busy otherwise.



2. What did you think of Japan? Welllll.........I'm of two minds about my experience. I expected this trip to be mind blowing with everything being so different. And it was. From the food to the language to the architecture to the landscape to the customs. It's all so different. Yet it's also incredibly the same. Parents teaching their children, people going to and coming from work, stopping at the Family Mart to grab a quick lunch, Happy Hour with friends on Friday night are all so much like the US. In fact, Tokyo seemed like  New York in a different language. Well-dressed workers, all in black, using their transportation pass to commute to work on the train. Eating out. Families taking a day trip out of the city to the ocean and eating octopus crackers. Wait. Octopus crackers. Well, that is different. Which brings me to...




3. What was the food like?  I stated at the start of the trip that I wouldn't eat anything that was still moving. So I didn't go there but I did like almost everything that I had. I ate a mix of western and asian foods. I probably wouldn't have be as adventuresome if my daughters weren't trying new foods - trying new foods isn't my strong suit. But I did try sushi, yakitori, soba noodles and some delicious potato salad. I'll cover it in more detail later.




4. Did you like it? Yes, I did. I went on the trip with my two daughters so I will have to say I would like going just about anywhere with them. And I will have to say that I can only spend so many days in big cities until I start feeling overwhelmed - too much noise, lights, and general busyness for me. We did go on two day trips which gave me some peace and quiet. And we went to shrines and parks in the city to balance the noise and some quiet.. It is the largest city in the world so it's to be expected though.




5. Would you like to go back? I definitely would. We only touched on the teeniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to see. I didn't see Mt Fuji, or Kyoto, or Osaka, or Okinawa. There's only so much you can see in a week. So put it on the return trip list. Maybe I will even learn a little Japanese before then!



I'm linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute,  Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Friday Postcards at Walking On Travels and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner. Please check them out for some weekend travel inspiration!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Jill, nice finding your blog through #TPThursday.
    I enjoyed reading your musings about Tokyo. It's really interesting how big foreign cities are so different and yet very much the same.
    Traveling with your daughters must have made the trip truly priceless.

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    1. Thanks for reading Marisol! And yes, traveling with my daughters is truly priceless - I suppose I'd go anywhere with them - but I still wouldn't eat anything that's still moving ha ha1

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  2. I love Tokyo. Can I suggest that next time you go, organise a volunteer Tokyo guide who will tell you so much and show you so many different things.We could ask our guide anything and it was when he talked that we started to understand more of this amazing culture.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion Paula! We did have a day long tour guide who had lived in the US and he took us to temples and to a fire ceremony which was one of my favorite days of the trip. He gave us alot of insight in the Japanese culture.

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  3. Okay not sure if my first comment is waiting moderation, but I don't see anything.

    I have lived next door to Japan for the past 15 years, so I have been lucky enough to visit a few times. I must say it's a country I never get tired of visiting. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I really enjoyed my trip - and will post much more of my travels from there soon!

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  4. Even though I'm from NYC, Tokyo intimidates me. And doesn't quite call to me, I think it just seems to relentlessly modern. I would love to see other parts of Japan though, like Kyoto.

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    1. We almost took the train to Kyoto but decided to just concentrate on one area. We did go on two day trips outside the city - to Kamakura and Narita - which I loved! Much more traditional areas.Thanks for stopping by eileen!

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  5. I'm glad that you had a really good time there and it seems like there's lots of reasons to return! :) Thanks so much for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

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  6. I really enjoyed my week in Japan and would happily return. I was the one dragging the kids along at first, but they ended up liking it a lot too. That trip didn't get off to an auspicious start with all the delays, but it sounds like you had fun once you finally reached your destination. I look forward to reading more about Japan through your eyes.

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