Sunday, January 22, 2006


Well, we're at the airport waiting to get home. Tokyo has been a bit of a surprise. We arrived to a blinding snowstorm, they had their heaviest snowfall in 10 years the day we arrived. About half a foot! Coming from where we left Bali which was 85 degrees at 11pm, this was a shock to our system...

We took the subway (clean, a little confusing to figure out) to the Dingka-gai (Electric Town) area to check out all of the electronics. It was a blast... especially when we adventured into a Pachinko Machine Gambling place. I had totally forgot about pachinko machines, we had one as a kid - kind of like a pinball machine but many more and smaller balls, and very colourful. Unlike with a pinball machine, though, you turn knobs to get the balls into certain holes (whereas in pinball you move bumpers to keep a single ball from the single hole). People were gambling with the number of balls they were gathering, then they turn them in. Fasinating.

We also then walked into many electronic shops and realised we don't need anything (!!!), so we went to these anime toy stores. Totally cool - Andrew bought a doll for around 5,000 Yen ($50) that is a sexy girl wearing a band uniform. Artful, different. Awesome.

At night we went on a tour of the Park Hyatt Tokyo and then the hotel took us to drinks and also took care of our dinner at the New York Grill - where Scarlett Joahnnsen and Bill Murray had dinner in Lost in Translation. Quite a treat, and the blizzard finally cleared to show a spectacular view of Tokyo - all snow covered under the city lights.

Today we went to a famous shrine (forgot the name) - we wished for a friend of ours to get well and got a fortune. Then went to Ginza where we went down a side street and bought lunch at a place that spoke no English and thankfully had pictures on the menu of the food - tempura vegetables on rice plus noodle soup. Safe and easy. Finally went home, packed and here we are!

Final note - the airport must be further away from any major city than any other airport/city combo in the world. It takes over an hour to get to the airport from the city edge!

Look for a note for photos, will post them when we get home. Actually looking forward to it! Time to go see Andy, he's bored watching TV in Japanese...

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