Thursday, April 26, 2007

O'genki desu ka? Two nights in Tokyo

The Oz trip flew, and in what seemed like no time, we were saying another difficult goodbye to my folks, and heading off for a two-night stopover in Tokyo.

I love Tokyo. I'm a huge fan of Japan, having studied Japanese at highschool, and visiting the country a couple of times in the early 90's with Mum.

I wanted to experience as much of Japanese culture as we could in two days, and booked us into a ryokan near Narita.

I found Wakamatsuhonten on Google, and it looked fine. I had the feeling that it would be a bit out of town, which was fine.

When we arrived by cab from the airport, I was pleasantly delighted to find that our ryokan overlooked Narita was literally across the road, and in the most fab little street in what I gathered was Narita's "Old Town".

We weren't able to check in until mid-afternoon, so spent the day pottering around the shops from the top of the hill at the Keisei Narita Train Station back down to Narita Temple.

I am SUCH a fan of Japanese crockery - the little tea sets...the matching saki sets with saki warmer and matching cups...the beautiful packaging of everything, the weird gelatinous sweets....

Although I could only understand about 0.0001% of what was being said, my attempts at retrieving highscool Japanese from the depths of my sozzled brain seemed to be appreciated. The Japanese seem to be surprised and curious when Westerners start speaking their language.

Unlike Australia, the weather in Japan in mid-April was chilly, and the rain wasn't helping matters.

At about 2.30pm, we decided to head back to the ryokan, and ask to check in an hour early. Thank god they were ready to let us in!

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