Rick in Japan: First day in Tokyo

(posted by Rick)

1 May 2015

So to start this trip off the right way, I found out my stand-by ticket allowed me to sit in Business/First class for the 12 hour flight to Tokyo.  Free champagne, 5 course dinner, and wine all night long.  Did I need the wine? No......but how often are you in first class?  Sleep was great and arrived to Japan feeling refreshed.

I arrived to Tokyo at 1:30 AM and took a cab to my Airbnb location.  I met a girl named Naoko who had a great apartment with multiple people renting out rooms.  She was nice enough stay awake until my 2 AM arrival.  I caught up on a little sleep and woke up bright and early to meet my friend Yuko.  She lives in Tokyo and we went to college together back in New York in 2003.  She and her boyfriend were nice enough to give me a full day's tour of Tokyo.  This was one of the temples we went to in the Asakusa district

Later, and most importantly, was the food.  Yuko and Masa took me to Monja street, which is where they serve Monjayaki in the Nishikawa district.  It was amazing, we had so many different plates come out, where Masa cooked for us and taught me how to prepare it.  

This was Okonomiyaki (Tokyo style) and it was easily my favorite.  Japanese style egg pancake with noodles and veggies in the middle and teriyaki sauce poured all over the top. 

After a little shopping, it was time for more food.  This was a perfect night-time dinner where everything was fried on a stick.  Peppers, onions, squash, cheese, seafood, meats.  You name it, they had it.  Each stick was only around a dollar and we would dip them in the large metal bowl and then spread on some Japanese mustard.  Perfect way to end the night. 

It was a long day, but flew right by.  I woke up the next morning, head over to Haneda airport to catch my flight to Hiroshima to meet up with my student.  This photo is just to give you some perspective of how large Tokyo is..........I've always enjoyed flying home over LA seeing how big we think it is.  Tokyo was stunning and seemed like it just never ended.  Maybe next time I'll get to see it at night.

Up next: my arrival to Hiroshima and a chilling experience seeing everything in person....



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