Tokyo! you have rocked our world in the last three days (there was a small earthquake yesterday)

When leaving Hawaii we were in pretty rough shape, looking down at the turquoise blue waters disappearing. But Tokyo has wiped all of that depression away.

First of all, a big shout out to Delta Air Lines for an amazing flight on a brand new plane.

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Delta’s safety video is hilarious. I tried to grab a few photo’s but its hard.

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note the old school flying goggles and scarf

note the old school flying goggles and scarf

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Brand new plane, 200+ movies in touchscreen tablet built into seat in front, laptop charging sockets at every seat, excellent food and service, free booze!!!! (in economy)  good job Delta- You made the 9 hour flight feel like 3.

Good Bye Hawaii

Good Bye Hawaii

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Hello Tokyo!

Japan at last

Japan at last

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waiting for our train to arrive

waiting for our train to arrive

After the 9 hour flight and another 90 minutes on a train, a taxi ride, setting up our bed, we were beat and hit the hay. (convenience store dinner- so tasty)

We are very grateful that Aya’s Mom is letting us use the guest house. It is very small and Japanese style, but it works!

Home sweet home

Home sweet home in Tokyo

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see our red mailbox!! that's our place

see our red mailbox!! that’s our place

So the doorways are a little small: no big deal.

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This is the start of Day 1 in Tokyo: First stop is of course for lunch.  The food in Japan is amazing, contrary to popular belief, there is so much more than Sushi. Japan is described by top chefs around the world as one of the top 3 food cities in the World. That is a serious claim to fame. I apologize now if you get tired of seeing photo’s of what we eat, but you had better get used to it.

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Yoshinoya is a fast food Donburi joint, we wanted to scratch it of our list early. It is delicious, and cheap- we will probably be back.

This plate is $5.50

This plate is $5.50

Let me eat! enough photo's

Let me eat! enough photo’s

Someone in the group has an extreme sweet tooth and its not Tyler. So next stop, right after lunch was to a food court type place. Most department stores in Japan have 1-2 floors of food court idea stuff in the basement. This is not the typical garbage fast food we are bombarded with in Canada. This is gourmet, top quality fare. This is part of the reason Japanese food is amazing. If you are shopping for food in the same building where you can buy a $300 cantaloupe, you know its the real deal.

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one of the many Bakeries.

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Words cannot explain the smells

White Strawberries

White Strawberries

Wow exciting! White Strawberries, that would be cool to try, well don’t get your hopes up unless you want to part with some serious cash.

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That’s right 16,200 yen for 15 White strawberries: that is $174 Canadian Dollars. (one hundred and seventy four, that is not a typo) . Ouch!

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If the strawberries don’t do it for you, perhaps a $342 CAD Musk Mellon, which is essentially a fancy cantaloupe. And remember these items are extremely perishable, so people are obviously buying them.

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Produce selection

Produce selection

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Even if fish is not your thing: does it not look delicious?

Even if fish is not your thing: does it not look delicious?

check out that marbling

check out that marbling- Wagyu Beef

We made it out of here with only a few items.

Ginza

Ginza

Tokyo is so large, it has 8-9 “Downtown” areas. Ginza is one of those areas. Ginza is filled with high end designer stores, and luxury stores.

Ginza

Ginza

Aya wanted to do some clothes shopping. Riding the escalator here. Most stores in Japan are a very small footprint, but many floors. This store was 12 floors.

Aya wanted to do some clothes shopping. Riding the escalator here. Most stores in Japan are a very small footprint, but many floors. This store was 12 floors.

Ok, the next two photos deal with something people do not really like to talk about, but everyone uses them and we are all mature adults here right?  The Japanese have mastered the toilet. These things are without a doubt, built for comfort.

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Features on this model:   Power lid up/ down. Heated seat. Plays music to disguise bathroom sounds. (you can choose birds chirping or running water if you need help to get the pipes moving) Water spray / blow dry.

This is the control panel for the toilet

This is the control panel for the toilet- there are buttons all along the top as well.

ok, well now that we have covered that, moving along now…..    Time to go home on the Subway. Tokyo operates the most sophisticated, largest transportation system in the World. To be able to run 10 car trains at 2 minute intervals is an amazing task, and they do it everyday, on time. The Tokyo subway at 8.7 million daily passengers only represents 22% of Tokyo’s 40 million daily rail passengers.

The Tokyo Subway system.

The Tokyo Metro Subway system.(There is another Subway company that operates more underground subways not displayed on this map)

Whenever you see a photo of something above ground, you have to remember there is another 10-20 percent underground that you cannot see. There are tunnels that run for blocks linking stores, apartments and offices to Subway stations, there are also hundreds of kilometers of subways. As Tokyo builds more and more underground they are forced to go deeper. You can easily tell which Subway lines are very old as they are closest to the surface. New lines might be 6-8 stories underground.

escalator deep underground

escalator deep underground

This is the real deal.

This is the real deal.

Not to be rude, but if you have never been to Japan, you simply will not understand all the hype about Convenience stores. Even if I explained it, you would be skeptical. Family Mart is the best, the sandwiches are out of this world. they even cut the crusts off for you.

Ok, Its Dinner time again

Ok, Its Dinner time again- Tempura restaurant.

Yes we have been doing a lot of eating, but we were out exploring Tokyo on foot for 10 hours today. Lets say we walked 2 kilometers per hour, that’s a 20K day.

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I did not have any troubles falling asleep this night.

Day 2:

Headed to Asakusa (an area within Tokyo). On the train Aya was reading a magazine and stumbled across this. We have not idea what is going on here.

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ahhh. What?

Asakusa

Asakusa

lots of little markets here

lots of little markets here

Aya ordered some sort of sweet fermented Rice drink. It was actually very tasty

Aya ordered some sort of sweet fermented Rice drink. It was actually very tasty (that’s it in the pot)

They call this the Love Cake for good reason.

They call this the Love Cake for good reason.

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chopsticks anyone?

chopsticks anyone?

no machines here, all made by hand

no machines here, all made by hand (some sort of red bean paste pastry) Tyler tried these on a previous trip to Japan and is not a big fan

Temple

Temple

This next guy (an adult) set up his little doll in front of the above Temple and then took a photo. yeah a little weird.

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line up at a Bakery

line up at a Bakery

Burning Incense at the Temple. You are supposed to wave the smoke over your body.

Burning Incense at the Temple. You are supposed to wave the smoke over your body.

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We got pretty tired of Temples in 2011 when we visited last. We will probably see a few more (lots) so we skipped this one.

watch out for this guy

watch out for this guy

from (L-R) Tokyo Sky tree at 634M, Bunkyo City building and Asahi Beer building.

from (L-R) Tokyo Sky tree, Bunkyo City building and Asahi Beer building.

Tokyo Skytree is the largest Tower in the world and second largest structure. (634M)

Asahi Beer Building

Asahi Beer Building

Not sure what Asahi was thinking with this one, but it makes for fun photo’s. The Japanese call this the poo building.

Ok, Lunch time- Kaiten Sushi. A conveyor belt carries a constant flow of sushi right under your nose. The plate color denotes the price. Take as many as you want.

Kaiten Sushi

Kaiten Sushi

Green tea right at your seat.

Green tea right at your seat.

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After lunch we took a river boat down river. Mostly just to see the sights and a rest after walking all morning and a delicious lunch.

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Rainbow Bridge- this bridge carries a train line, highway and a city road on its two levels.

interesting boat

interesting boat

Rainbow Bridge from another angle

Rainbow Bridge from another angle

Walking around Odaiba, Palette Town

Walking around Odaiba, Palette Town (Still in Tokyo)

stumbled across a car museum.

stumbled across a car museum.

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nice!!!! 1957 Beetle

Toyota operates a huge indoor car demonstration area with a full indoor/ outdoor test course.

Toyota operates a huge indoor car demonstration area with a full indoor/ outdoor test course.

trying to figure out the Subway system

trying to figure out the Subway system

nice jacket

nice jacket

last stop of the night. At the 296M Tokyo City Hall Observatory

last stop of the night. At the 296M Tokyo City Hall Observatory

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We are laying low today, resting and packing as we leave for Thailand tomorrow. We will spend the next 3 weeks in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. There will be no blog updates until we are back in Tokyo on Feb 18th.