So, I just finished up my first day in Japan, and things are going splendidly so far. (By the way, I'm in Japan because my school has exams and I get a little time off for those...) Anyway, I flew out of Seoul early this morning (6 a.m. wake up call, baby!) and arrived in Tokyo (Narita) by 1pm or so. I took the train into Tokyo to check into my hostel, and then went out on the town.
Fortunately, everything's gone smoothly so far. I was worried that with language barriers and whatnot I'd have a tough time. But, no! Everyone's been very helpful, and my English has gotten me by (I actually have a tendency to say things in Korean much of the time, but I'm working through that). So, today, tomorrow, and half of the next day I'm in Tokyo. Then, I go to Osaka for 2.5 days where I'll meet some friends from my winter Korean course! What fun! One friend even said we could take a day trip to Kyoto (about 30 minutes outside of Osaka). Sounds like a plan to me!
So, today was mostly basic sightseeing around my hostel area. I'm
staying in Asakusa (at a hostel called Khaosan Tokyo--very nice place!) where there's this huge temple and park area with this amazingly busy walkway leading up to it (it was packed with people, and there were vendors everywhere). It was cool to see some Japanese temples and shrines and whatnot, as I've only seen Korean ones. And I ate a thing that was kinda like Korean food, but not-- basically a dough ball with sweet red bean paste in the middle, fried, and flavored like green tea. Tasty!
After Asakusa, I went to Akihabara, which is the electronics mecca of Tokyo-- a huge marketplace of all the electronic goods, arcades, manga (comic books), games, etc., that you could ever dream of. It was quite a happening place. And so much technology! My favorite part were the arcades, though-- 3-5 stories high, filled with every game imaginable, and filled with young and old (though mostly young), men and women (though mostly men), singles and couples--it was packed. There were even people watching the others play. Like that's fun! But they had every game-- Dance Dance Revolution to Tetris to kill 'em games to poker. I mean, America has arcades, too,
but not so many in close vicinity, nor are they so big or popular, I think. So that was interesting.
After that, I went to Ueno Park (a really big park) to relax. It was nice to just chill for a little bit. It was a lovely area, and it was fun to look at all the street vendors selling their foods (I even saw some Korean foods there and was happy to see some Korean writing) and see how it all compared to Korea. I'll have to hold off on comparisons, though, until I've been here a little longer. But it's been interesting to try and take note.
After Ueno, it was dinner time, so I went back to the Asakusa area and had a meat and rice dish (name unknown as it was written in Japanese only) as well as Udon noodles (thick white noodles in a soup with some seaweed... I think it was seaweed at least). And now, back at the hostel!
Tomorrow should be a busy day. I hope to go to the fishmarket as well as a palace and some other fun things. I'll update you as soon as possible (and
On the ceiling...Tokyo
upload pics when I get back to Korea). Ciao for now! Or, should I say, sayonara!
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