Tokyo was a great place, but traveling there and back is a burden. Flying across the Bearing Straight and the Pacific Ocean wasn't bad for the first six hours, but after that my inability to sleep made me bored with my seat and everything around me.
While we were there we stayed at a nice hotel that had a great view of Tokyo Tower. It looked awesome from our hotel room's window, especially at night. I took several shots, and I'll post the best of them.
Walking around was a bit different than I expected. I was expecting fewer cars and more wall to wall sections of people. One person told me the reason was because a great deal of them were below ground traveling by subway. I got to try out the subway system. One of them required me to walk down 7 flights of stairs to the deep recesses to Tokyo. Other rail lines were above ground and above the streets. The one I traveled most on, the Yamanote line, would make a circle around Tokyo in about an hour, with stops every 5 minutes or less.
I brought a couple language guides with me, but for the most part they remained in my pocket. Most of the time there was a translator with us, but even when there was not there wasn't a lot of conversation going on. People on the streets just didn't talk much. I'm sure there would be more talking in the bars, especially the Karaoke bars, but I didn't have to communicate much in any other language except the language of commerce used in stores and 7-Eleven (7-Eleven is everywhere there, so they were a handy spot for cheap manga, drinks of many types, and 24-hour ATM).
I got to visit many places, which you will see soon thanks to the pics I'll post. The only place I wish I had more interesting pictures of was Akihabara, the otaku capital of the world. There was plenty to see in stores, but they don't like you to take pictures in there (I snuck a couple anyway ). I guess a lot more happens on the streets during the weekends, but I only had one day for Akiba, so I'll have to be content with the coolness I brought back.
Tokyo is a somewhat expensive city. I know I was on vacation and all but I cannot recall anytime where I've spent so much in just a week's time. Part of it was the food and transportation, but I was also souvenir shopping. Asakasa and Akihabara was the primary money guzzlers, but Roppongi claimed a good portion of my wallet as well. I bought enough that I had to buy a second suitcase just to get it all back! Upon returning to the states, I got to play 20 questions with the customs officials about why I was bringing $640 worth of goodies back.
Officer: Where did you stay?
Me: In a hotel within walking distance of Roppongi district.
My feet: Just because you can walk there doesn't mean you needed to walk there every freaking night we were there!
Officer: Looks like you spent a lot there. What did you buy?
Me: Souvenirs of all types, most from Asakasa (like that means anything to you) and Akihabara (If that means anything to you, I will scream).
ATM card in wallet: Yep, you really made use of me there. Dang, I feel lightheaded still.
Credit card in wallet: At least your burden is lighter. I'm still carrying a charge from that one place.
Wallet: Why do I feel so empty? And what's up with the funny coins that are below me?
Officer: You didn't buy any off-name or ripoff name brand stuff clothes, purses and watches there, did you?
Me: No ma'am, just souvenir-type stuff, Japan-exclusive things.
Suitcase 1 (American accent): Are you kidding me? Nobody in here except us otaku stuff.
Suitcase 2 (Japanese accent): There was barely enough room for his clothes, let alone bootleg alligator purses and fake rollexes.
Backpack: At least you didn't have to carry that stuff all the way to Shinjuku and back!
Figure 1: I hope we don't get searched. I don't know if he can explain about little old me.
Figure 25: Yeah, who wants to explain the girl dressed as a playboy bunny with a guitar?
Gashpon figure 1: At least I'm cute enough to pass by.
Totoro plushie: Will she recognize me as cute?
Gashpon figure 30: Kamehameha!
Book 1: Well at least I'm innocent here.
Book 5: I'm certainly not. Look at the centerfold on page XXX
Random flyer found in Akiba: I hope she can't read Japaneses and realize I'm a flyer for that certain maid cafe.
Random flyer found in Roppongi: It's better than being a flyer for a 'gentlemen's club.'
Officer: *hands back passport* OK, welcome back. Please skip past the secondary bag check and head for your connecting flight.
Me. Thank you!!!
Anyhow, I ended up with over 600 pictures, including 4 videos and a couple of 360 degree views of Tokyo from some tall towers. I may need to figure out how to splice theme for one big pic.
I'm still in need of more time for art, and I still need a new avi and deviantID.