Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Hello Tokyo!

4.30pm Monday 30th of August. So there I was sitting in the departure lounge at Newcastle International Airport about to embark upon the most terrifying journey of my life. My ticket stated the Journey would last 17 hours, but I knew it wouldn't stop there...I was petrified but excited.

I flew with Airfrance so, my first flight was just over an hour long to Paris Charles de Gaulle. A few minuets before I left my dad had told me this had been named the hardest airport in the world to navigate around. Great! I got there fine though and managed to find the correct gate. I considered ordering my cafe au lait in french, although decided to stick to the English (or more precisely geordie) approach...and I'm sure the french were ecstatic with my use of the glottal stop. My excitement had begun to fade, I was surrounded by people speaking a language I couldn't understand; it was very humbling to say the least.

My next flight was 12 hours, Paris to Tokyo (Narita). I tried to sleep but it didn't happen. Instead I gorged on camembert, watched Valentines Day, Kick Ass and How I Met Your Mother. After the flight I took the free shuttle bus from Narita Airport to the Hilton Hotel (tip: you can get this at bus stop 16).
I got into the Hilton at around 7.30pm Tuesday. The Hotel was beautiful!
The massive water feature built inside the Hilton Hotel.
The Hotel Lobby.
My Room!

The Hotel lobby is full of clothes shops, restaurants and cafes so theres plenty to do even if you're just staying the one night. The shop was quite reasonably priced so I bought my breakfast here:

サラダ巻き(salad maki) and peach fanta.
The salad maki was, ironically, full of meat and fish.

I then got the shuttle bus back to the airport, hopped on the Naita Express and about 1 hour and a half later I was at 新宿駅(shinjuku station). It sucked! I spent about an hour here wondering up and down escalators and elevators, i got up to the ticket office and told them where I wanted to go in Japanese. Their response? Go downstairs and buy a ticket at the vending machine. Awesome, thanks. So I found the machine and to buy a ticket u have to enter the price of the ticket, you can find out the price by looking up the station you wanna go to on a huugeee map above the ticket machines. It might not be such a problem if I had learnt the kanji for 武蔵境(Musashisakai). I stood looking at my Tokyo guide book, then back at the map, then back at the guide book....then at the map until a nice Japanese man asked me if I was ok. I quickly said no. He then sorted my ticket out and took me to the right line. Problem solved!
I then caught a bus from Musasahisakai Station to the ICU campus and met some people staying in my dorm as we entered the gate so we all found the dorm together. All my worries and fears went out of the window the moment we were greeted by the members of Global House. They're all super friendly and so nice, I know I'm going to enjoy the year I'm going to spend with them.

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