Thursday, April 8, 2010

Four Hours in Tokyo

Jen and I had a brief stop over on our way back from Indonesia. We landed about 8:30AM and our next flight back to Vancouver was at 5:20PM. A nice break from flying and a chance to see an amazing city.

Immediately after arrival we head straight for immigration. First though we have to pass through another security check. Not much of a lineup and it moves quick. At immigration, no surprise to myself - big lineup and few people processing the hordes. ARRRRGH! That killed about 40 minutes but soon we are back in motion! A quick stop at the ATM for some cash, dump the luggage at baggage storage and the adventure is set to start.

Next, get a train ticket. For about $30 odd bucks each we get tickets on the Narita Express - a direct, one hour ride to Tokyo. Exactly one hour later we emerged in Tokyo station right in the middle of downtown. Awesome but completely overwhelming at first. We have no idea what to do, where to go or even where to get a quick bite to eat. We settle for the familiarity of Starbucks. Good enough.

We stop by the information desk and get a lead on the major shopping strip - Ginza. We take the appropriate exit, climb a couple of flights of stairs and emerge in to the bright daylight and the spectacular streets of Tokyo. Everything around us just looks wonderful, new, exciting and different. I can't stop snapping pictures of, well, everything.


We don't have much time so we just keep strolling down the strip, taking it all in. It was a beautiful day - sunny skies and 20 degrees celsius. After a bit we take a break and just enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air, savoring every bit before our 9 hour flight home. Not long after sitting down a group of photographers approach us, one by one, "asking" to take our picture. I say "asking" because they didn't speak English and we don't speak Japanese. A simple gesture though gets the point across and we happily complied. Once the group was done taking pictures, I gestured back that I wanted to take their picture but I wanted them to pose with their cameras up to their eyes. It took a little extra demonstrating but they got they idea and I got my picture.


Good fun.

Shortly after that we were back on the Narita Express bound for the airport and our flight home. Even though we had a very limited time it was so wonderful to get to see a city with such great history. I can't wait to visit it again.

Keep shooting.

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