Tuesday, September 8, 2009
As soon as we found out we were headed to the Philippines our first priority was to plan a trip to visit our dear friends, Kristy and Will, in Tokyo. Although we were spent after flying from Argentina and our crazed schedule at home we got on a flight Wednesday afternoon for our 14 hour journey to Asia. The flight was actually much better than our flight home had been, although Delta/Northwest have seriously become my least favorite airline in the world but, that is a whole other blog entry.
The Japanese are known for their orderliness and efficiency and from the moment we disembarked we found this to be true. It was a painless airport experience and with Kristy’s instructions we easily made our way into Tokyo.
We all went out for a traditional yakitori dinner that night-the ultimate food on a stick experience. Neither of us had slept much on the flight so after dinner we turned in pretty early.
Kristy had been kind enough to plan our days and Friday morning we headed out to the emperor’s palace, then to a Buddhist shrine, had a yummy noodle lunch and enjoyed some local brew at the Asahi brewery before heading back for a much needed siesta. We were actually 13 hours ahead at that point and in truth Jules and I were pretty pitiful.
We went out for sushi that night and as soon as I can I will put an entire entry about this experience on our food blog. I have no idea how Kristy and Will will ever be able to eat sushi anywhere else and not be disappointed.
Saturday we headed out to a festival but found it was little more than kids dancing. They were precious but we decided to head up into a neighboring building and have lunch with an incredible view of Tokyo. It is a huge city with some incredible architecture.
Next time we come I totally plan on dorking it up and doing an entire day if not more just checking out their buildings. Cross your fingers we get to go there for a round because that is not going to be an easy sell with the Wife ;)
After lunch we went to the beautiful Meiji Shrine just outside Yoyogi Park. It was nestled in very dense woods and profoundly peaceful and serene.
We were lucky enough to catch a few brides but my favorite was this little wedding goer. I cannot tell you how proud I am of us for not kidnapping her...
We walked a bit in Yoyogi afterwards and then made our way back into K & W’s neighborhood for some green tea ice cream. It was a perfect treat on such an incredibly hot and muggy day. Even being from Georgia we were both taken aback by the extreme humidity there.
We went into Ginza, a shopping and entertainment district, for dinner that night. It was what we think of when we think “Tokyo”…huge billboards, flashy lights, hordes of people, etc. We ate at a Izakaya restaurant that night and it was another great meal experience. Unfortunately, we were still very lame and opted to go back to K & W’s apartment to hit the hay. I fully admit I was the ring leader and went to bed at precisely 9pm. Which was the earliest Jules would let me.
We spent a leisurely morning together before having to say goodbye and make our way back to Narita for our afternoon flight to Cebu. Our first real Asian city could not have made a better impression. We completely fell in love!
We can’t begin to thank Kristy and Will for their hospitality. We had an amazing time and never once had to struggle figuring out where to go, where or what to eat, how to get there, how to pay, etc. It was an awesome thing to get to just relax and enjoy a foreign city and even better to do so with such great friends. We hope so much to catch up with them again before they leave Japan next year. Next time we promise not to be so tired!!