Well, I do.
12 near sleepless hours on a plane + wandering around Asakusa for hours on end = Greatest. Boogers. Ever.
I can not believe how awesome today has been. And, wow, days go so much longer when you get up so early. I’ve learnt that from staying at my best friend’s house so often (think, two small children at the crack of dawn).
The biggest challenge today was tackling the trainlines to our hostel. We got lost. :( It was quite bewildering not having any clue whatsoever as to where the heck we were going. At one sad point, we mistook ‘Exit A4’ (which we eventually figured was one of four exits of Asakusa station [stop number ‘A18’]) as train stop ‘A4’ and ended up almost at the end of the line – 14 stops away from where we should have been.
We arrived at Narita at a little after 6.00 am, went swiftly through customs, and didn’t get to the hostel until around midday. To put in a little perspective, the train ride should only have taken about 30 minutes. Golly. What silly billies we are. It was fun though.
One of the funny things so far, is the fact that we don’t know any of the language here. Everytime we want to order something, it ends up being a game of charades, and our voices get louder and louder (as if we think that loud English is more understandable than English spoken like a normal person).
Upon arriving at the correct station, I pulled out the map showing us how to get to Sakura Hostel (which by the way, I highly recommend, but I might elaborate on that later). We were delighted at this map’s treasure hunt-esque, step-by-step directions. And since so many of you four loyal blog-followers have insisted that we update you regularly on where we are, here is a sample for you, with photos included, of course! (let’s see if I can figure this photo thing out) (please don’t get your hopes up)
Take exit A4 (note, do not mistakenly misinterpret the word ‘exit’ for ‘station’), and turn right. Then turn left at the first corner and walk one block.
You will see a large red wooden gate (Kiminari-mon gate) on the other side of the street. Cross the street and go through the gate.
(the above pose is for Georgia)
You will get to a market street with souveneir shops on both sides – this is called Nakamise-dori. Walk straight down the market street and through another wooden gate and you will reach Sensoji temple.
When you hit the Sesoji temple, turn left and find an amusement park with a tall tower (Hanayashiki amusement park). Go around the temple clockwise [by this point, I am beginning to feel like I am in an incredibly slow version of ‘The Amazing Race’].
Walk on the left side of the temple and find a small bridge. Cross the bridge and head straight.
You see the amusement park entrance on your right. Pass the entrance and follow the road straight, keeping the amusement park on your right.
(I know it doesn’t look like much of an amusement park, more like a mini-carnival.)
Take a hard right at the corner, keeping the park to your right.
(Are you still reading? Is this as boring as all heck?)
Walk down the narrow street and you will see Sakura Hostel Asakusa on your left – it’s the large pink building!
(Not the greatest picture, I know, but you get the idea.)
As we walked into the lobby, we were met by one of the most excitable faces probably in all of Japan! He reminded me immediately of Hiro Nakamura from ‘Heroes’ (don’t bother with season two). He was amazed that the holes in Dana’s ears weren’t buttons, but massive plugs to stuff his massive gaping ear holes.
At this point, I was excruciatingly sad to be alerted by my camera that its battery was about to run out. BAH! WHYDIDN’TICHARGEITYESTERDAY!
However, after regaining my composure, Hiro kindly offered to charge the battery for me while me and Mydana went out for a bite to eat. And luckily I had my iphone with me, so was able to get some photos afterall.
I am going to try and post as much as I can, hopefully once every couple of days or so.
Tomorrow, Dana and I are going on another adventure into commercialcrazycapitalistheavenland and meeting up with an old friend, Duffy. I am looking forward to this very much, as it has been a long while since last seeing him. But Duffy is just one of those friends who you can see once in six months (even though you’d much rather see him more often), and it will still be as if you saw him yesterday. So lovely and kind. He also does great impersonations of people/characters.
But for now, I am going to have an early night (relax, it is only Monday afterall), and until next time, I will leave you with this…
(Sorry about grainy-ness, was taken on my Iphone, you see. What a hobo.)