January 22, 2011

東京: Day 1, Arrival

Day before my departure in New York there was a snowstorm (one neither heavy or serious) that caused cancellations across the board within JFK. After some calls I was able to make extend my reservations and excursions to an extra day to compensate for cancellations. Thinking there would be millions of people in the airport I left my house four hours earlier than I planned. Big mistake.

I couldn't have asked for a smoother flight. Twelve hours, an aisle to myself and a bathroom behind my seat? Heaven.

I wished they served more than two meals per flight! It was really damn delicious. The flight attendants did fill me up with delicious warm o-cha (I never liked green tea but All Nippon Airways changed my tastes).

Watching Tom & Jerry had me laughing and screaming in tears! Good thing there wasn't a lot of people on the flight because I can't imagine what I sounded like outside my headphones.

The most exciting part was getting on the Narita Express (成田エクスプレス). Coming from New York City, it's hard to imagine a smooth train ride - not to mention one that's fast and efficient. A good bottle of soda and a window seat was enough to enjoy the night lights of Tokyo.

It was about 10:00PM when I finally reached into Shinjuku station. I got the point when I read guide books, watched videos, viewed photos and everything else that more or less explained that it's a busy station. I still don't get how on earth was it's possible to be four-times as packed as Grand Central terminal during rush hour at nighttime. I guessed because it was a Friday night a large percent of the population would be out enjoying their money-day.

I had yet to experience hush hour.

This was my room at the Best Western ASTINA Shinjuku Hotel. It was my first pick when I started planning during 2010's summer but I wasn't sure if I would of been able to afford it (until I discovered religious budgeting techinques). Absolutely warm and cozy. Of course I give my utmost recommendations for anyone looking to stay here. This photo does no justice of how beautiful and roomy the room actually is. And for those wondering it takes no more than five minutes to walk from the hotel to Shinjuku station.