After a 14 hour flight I stopped in Tokyo, Japan for one night for a layover on my way to Perth. I stayed with Kaori, a family friend. Tokyo was much, much larger than I imagined. It took over 3 hours to make the journey from the airport to Kaori’s apartment via a bus, train and taxi. I had over 80 pounds of luggage with me that we had to drag through the public train system, which was a mission to say the least.
We got settled in Kaori’s apartment and then took off for dinner with her friends. We went to Shibuya, Tokyo for a ramen meal, a trip to an arcade, karaoke and a night out. The ramen was delicious and just as salty as you would expect it to be. At the arcade we got our photos taken in much fancier photo machine that you would see in the States. You took a bunch of variations of photos and then you could edit them afterwards with a touch screen, which is the last photo featured. Next we went off to get some drinks at an all-you-can-drink bar. There were tons of men outside of the street beckoning us to come in, so Kaori was able to haggle and get us an hour for ~$10. Next was karaoke, which is one of the biggest things to do in Japan. We were lucky and got our own private room, and jumped around all over the booths to American pop and Japanese pop. It was way more fun than I thought singing off-key to overplayed songs could be. Next we went out to a small bar and met Australian and American travelers in Tokyo for the night. We tried to bar-hop but not many places were open on a Monday night, which was meh. Next was the hour train ride home after 20 hours of travel and night out.
The next morning we originally planned on going to fish market, but last minute decided to check out some temples. We arrived pretty early in the morning and took a look around the open air street market in between two temples. I tried all different types of rice based crispy treats and some other interesting samples that were sweet bean based. After walking around the temples we got authentic sushi, which was overwhelming to say the least. We got a sampler plate that featured huge pieces of fatty fish, fish eggs and something made with egg. I was a little apprehensive because the Australian we met said that sushi was the only food he didn’t eat, and he was a super adventurous eater. I liked all of the pieces except for the fish eggs and fish heart, which made me want to puke. I learned the specific ritual for eating the sushi, which was enforced by both Kaori and the chef. Using your hands you must flip the fish over to dredge it in the soy sauce; letting the rice absorb it overpowers the flavor of the fish. After a very filling meal we head off to see the beautiful skyline over a bridge and then left to return home.
I packed my bags and we took a cab to the bus stop. We had some time to kill so we checked out a marketplace under the bus stop. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip, but unfortunately I only got GoPro videos of the exotic food, so I can’t post photos of it. There were samples of different types of raw fish, octopus and fish eggs which I tried but really, really wish I didn’t. We also sampled a bunch of different types of mochi and sweet bean based foods which had an interesting texture, but they weren’t too flavorful. I said goodbye at the airport and Kaori sent me off with a nice letter, fan and coin purse.
Before my flight to Bangkok, I got to spend some time in a United Club Lounge. There was so much free food (which I sampled all of), free alcohol, and wifi. I then boarded my flight to Bangkok, which was awesome. We flew past two volcanos and a lush rainforest which we could see because of a camera in the back of the plane. I also had the whole row of seats to myself so I could sleep a little bit, which was blissful. I got to Bangkok and again spent some time sampling food in the United Club Lounge. I boarded my flight and next stop, Perth, Australia!