After a 30-minute delay on our flight we arrived later then expected at Narita airport – over an hour from Tokyo – so we were lucky to catch the last train with 2 minutes to spare. Reached the apartment after midnight so saw very little of Tokyo, not even the famous bright lights. The next day however it was love at first sight…
We headed to Ueno and soon came across hundreds of Japanese children going to the zoo with school (there are hundreds of Japanese children everywhere in Japan; they never appear to be at school). Beautiful ponds and people relaxing in the park. Distances are very long though so loads of walking. Witnessed the Japanese power-naps seemingly anywhere anytime. Dylan was so tired he even went in Jonas’ pram. All the locals seem asleep in the park.
We had a go at our first traditional Japanese meal which I must say was an act of courage given that even the pictures shed little light on what we were about to be served (except for some miso soup and rice). Oh dear! Mark didn’t attempt to eat anything but rice with soy sauce. Dylan started playing with the chopsticks as if they were swords. I shut my eyes as I tried squishy things with consistency never encountered before. Some tastes were new and interesting (polite cough) and others were unexpectedly unpleasant. As luck would have it, Dylan came to the rescue and accidentally poured the entire bowl of miso soup over my lap. Within seconds the lovely waiters came running with ice in case I was scolded. I was fuming as
1. Dylan had been messing around in what should be a peaceful, zen-like, restaurant
2. I was drenched and smelled of miso soup with no chance of going back to the hotel as it was too far
3. The only food I could actually eat or use to wash down what I didn’t like was now gone.
Fortunately I used the incident as the perfect excuse to leave so we made a run for the nearest place that sold recognisable food; McDonalds. This was the only thing we could recognise and Dylan (and Mark) would eat. Shamelessly walked in only to find loads of other tourists with a big smile on their face too. Not a good sign so far on the food front! Promised ourselves no more McDonalds for the rest of the trip but this time it was much appreciated.