>> Friday, March 26, 2010
I got on a very big plane: a 747-4. Two levels. I didn't pay enough to go upstairs though. The flight was 13 hours in the air, Atlanta to Tokyo direct. We flew north through the midwest, over the Great Lakes, in an arc toward Alaska. We crossed the Bering Straight, flew over Russia for a while, and then came down over Hokkaido to Honshu, the main island of Japan, and into Tokyo. From there it was a plodding 3.5 hour rush-hour bus ride (usually 2 hours!) from the airport to downtown Tokyo.
Mike from ASIJ met me at the airport and rode out with me, and when we finally got to Kichijoji station, near where I would be living, we met Dan and Mark from ASIJ and went out to a yakitori shop (essentially a grilled chicken joint) for a bite to eat and some cold refreshments. Here's Mike. Check out the socks on the other side--we took our shoes off at the door to this room (not the door to the restaurant) and carried them inside in plastic bags provided by the yak shop.
Mark, ordering for us. Sorry for the blurry shots. Still learning my new camera.
Walking back through Kichijoji, which is just a few stops from Tama, where I'm staying. I'm eager to get back here and explore! Lots of little shops and restaurants. It was so busy and alive on Friday night, and this is well outside the center of Tokyo. I can't imagine what a place like Shinjuku must be like on a Friday night. (Although soon I'll know...)
Next up, the apartment where I'm staying!