Saturday, September 4, 2010

Days 3&4

So we decided to spend some time in Tokyo since we couldn't get anything accomplished on base over the 4 day weekend.  (Well, we did manage to get ourselves some iPhone4's since the local cell phone place on base doesn't close for the US holiday.  I'm kind of sad to say goodbye to my beloved crackberry.  I know a lot of people have problems with them, but I had a pretty solid love relationship with mine! Anyone want to buy a perfectly good Verizon BlackBerry Storm 2?  It doesn't work over here or I would keep it!) Oh, and with the 2 new iPhone contracts came 2 AAFES gift cards which resulted in the perfect little coin purse to hold my rail pass and Yen =)

We had about an hour train ride to our hotel in Tokyo (yay $58 hotel courtesy of the Navy).  We found the Tokyo rail system to be extremely simple to use.  Everything was written in Japanese and English and the signs are very clear. Way easier that the subway system in NYC!

I apparently only have shots of the train names in Japanese but you can see the name of the station written in English at the top and some instructions scrolling in English

Japan is famous for their vending machines, they're everywhere and sell everything!  I made Jason document my 1st time using one =) of course I bought a Coke!

We found a book store whose name was in English, so I was hopeful that they would have some books in English.  No such luck.  We did find a copy of Harry Potter in Japanese that we purchased in hopes of being able to read it one day

We chose this place for lunch, again hoping that since the sign was in English that they would at least have English menus or staff that speaks some English.  No English in the menus (but they did have pictures!) and our waitress spoke enough English to get us by!

The photo I pointed to was fried shrimp with a bunch of small portions on the side.  Those sides turned out to be spaghetti and tomato sauce, potato salad, tartar sauce and coleslaw ha ha.  Not the Japanese meal I was expecting but still good

 In order to get a room in the hotel we stayed at, we had to have dinner at the French restaurant in the hotel so we got a little dressed up

and after dinner, ordered banana's Foster which they made table side =)

then went to the Tokyo Tower

Jason liked standing on the glass floor more than I did!

Today we went to the fish market

even getting up at 6 am and getting there by 7, we'd missed all the action =(

We also found out that Shibuya Crossing is far less crowded at 10am on a Saturday than at night...I guess we have 3 years to go back and see it in all of it's glory

We found these fun signs in English on our way home

While we were out in Tokyo, one of the signs for the rail we wanted said 130m and had an arrow.  Jason pointed this out to me and I responded with I don't do meters so he told me it was about 140 yards.  My response?  "Oh, a touchdown and 4 1st downs, the sigh should just say that".  If only football could be the universal language, I'd be in great shape!  I'm already tired of doing math in my head.  Metric to Standard.  Celsius to Fahrenheit.  Dollars to Yen.  Tokyo time to Cincinnati time.  My brain is FRIED, I hate math!

Today, after we got back to CZ, we decided to get Subway for lunch but weren't sure exactly where it is on post, so we asked some guy walking by.  He said, sure, he'd show us the way and after a 5 minute walk, we realized he was walking us to the physical subway, not the sandwich shop...guess we have to learn to be more specific here!

Oh, it's hot here!  And insanely humid!  Everyone walks around with little towels to pat themselves with and I need one bad! And one of those cute fans.  Yep, those are both on my to purchase list!  I saw quite a few people walking around with masks on, like the kind doctors wear.  I haven't figured out if it's because they have germs they don't want to spread or if they're afraid of catching other peoples germs.  Either way, it makes me feel dirty, like I need to be wearing one.

I have so much to learn about this country and I can't wait, I'm loving soaking it all up so far.  The MWR here is way more active than at any other base we've been at.  They sponsor trips pretty much every weekend and Jason and I plan on going on a lot of them.

Now it's time for bed, trying out the church on base tomorrow...hopefully it goes better than at our last base!

PS, any iPhone users have any app recommendations?  Any must haves?  I'm clueless!


Heather said...

I am glad to hear the subway was easy to use!! I just heard it was VERY difficult (from someone who is Japanese). I bet you can find a neat little towel and a fan at a 100 Yen store. And if you keep your eye open sometimes businesses giveaway the big plastic fans. Our AU in the BX had them yesterday. The masks are because they have a cold or cough or something. They are keeping their germs away from the healthy people!

JG said...

What a fun weekend trip. Who else do you know who said they went to Tokyo for Labor Day?? (I'll be lucky if we leave the couch!) I wonder about the masks, too. I've seen them on TV. Are they still afraid of bird flu?

Kara said...

Yea! I'm glad you are having a good time! I can't wait for us to get over there!

Kara said...

Shibuya on a Sunday night wasn't as crowded as I expected either. I'm also guessing that you guys figured out the train system easier than we did. It was easily labeled, we just had a time trying to figure out what line would take us where we wanted to go. Once we figured that out, it was easy. I am proud to say, I was much better at figuring it out than him!