2009 - 2010

Day 1


Today we left Melbourne at 6:00 AM to go to the Gold Coast, from there we would go to Narita Airport in Tokyo!
After minor delays arriving in the Gold Coast due to bad weather, we finally got there where we had to collect our bags from the domestic arrivals and check them into the international departures. After we were all checked in we got some breakfast in the food court and waited for our flight.

The flight did not include food, etc. so we ended up buying sandwiches, snacks and drinks every now and then, but still didn’t spend too much.
After a pretty long flight, we finally got Tokyo! There was a train to get from the plane/gates to the rest of the airport, but it looked like it didn’t go very far (easy walking distance).
Once we got through customs (which was pretty simple) and got our bags, we caught the “SkyLiner” to Ueno, and from there we caught the Tokyo Metro to Aoyama-itchome which is only a short walk to our hotel.

The train, train stations and all the streets are so clean. No graffiti, litter or vandalism anywhere! They have people on the platforms with wireless microphones to announce the trains, and they depart perfectly on time! Its amazing how smooth such as complex system can run.
Ticketing was fairly straight forward, we simply found the name of the station we wanted on a board to find the price of the ticket we need. If we were to get it wrong though, at each station is another machine called a “ticket adjustment machine” where you can get a refund if you paid too much, or an opportunity to pay the remaining fee if you didn’t pay enough.
There was also a pre-paid card option called a “Pasmo” which requires a ¥500 deposit.

We eventually got to our hotel and the staff were already expecting us and before we knew it we were settled in to our room. Our room was pretty good, nice and basic. We were in the “old” building, while Anthony and Amy were in the “new” building, but their room was much smaller.

It was late and we were tired, but we got to make a quick call home and went to to get some dinner. After talking to the hotel staff, we went for a quick walk and found a small fast food place just around the corner from the hotel. There was also a “Family Mart” which is like a 7-11. The fast food place was strange, but we were lucky enough to see a local person order first. There was a couple of vending machines were we order from. You put money in, choose (or in our case guess) if you want take-away or eat in, press a button to pick your meal and it will give you a ticket, then you just sit down and eventually someone brings you your meal.

We also had our first experience with a bidet. This is what the toilet in our hotel room looks like.

As soon as you sit on it, it starts to flush justs a little to make sure its clean.
When your finished, there is a “spray” button that squirts you with warm water. There is also a “bidet” button, but I think that is just for women. When your done, you just press “stop” and dry up. Pretty weird but its a little more advanced than the hose from Thailand :)