Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Konichiwa Tokyo (こにち 東京)

After a very brief stopover in Bejieng, and that too at night :( we took off for the Land of the Rising Sun. Our destination was Tokyo. We arrived there probably at a time when I was asleep. So, I don't recall anything from leaving Narita International Airport and being transported to a bed in someone's house. I was the first person to wake up in the morning. It was very quite. I got off from the bed and started roaming around in the house, which was totally alien to me. Till I was fully awake, I was wondering what had happend to the Boeing, did it convert to a house?

The house belonged to a friend of my father, I don't have much detail to share with regards to where it was located or how it looked like. I do have few pictures (which I can't seem to find at the moment) showing surroundings of the house. But I do remember that it was a residential district and a bit away from the main road. The weather was pleasent and not cold, it suited us well.

This was our first major stop and we were there for 7 lovely days which I will never forget.

There are many things to share about this destination but following are top of my mind.

First is the Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji, located on Honshu Island, is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m. Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. We spent a full day exploring this beautiful mountain.

Second is the Shinkansen.

Shinkansen 新幹線 literally means new trunk line, referring to the tracks, commonly these trains are also known as Bullet Trains. Japan had excelled in developing fast trains before any other nation. In 1978, this was really a marvel. Although I didn't get a chance to travel in the bullet train but saw it on a station. Ahead of it's time!

Third is the Tokyo Tower

Built in 1958, Tokyo Tower (東京タワー, Tōkyō tawā) is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 333 metres (1,093 ft), it is the second-tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Check it out at www.tokyotower.co.jp      (I have captured this info from Wikipedia).

I liked this place. It had a huge toy super market, video gaming zone, restaurants and many many vendors.

Fourth is the Shinto Temple

There are many temples in Tokyo and this one was a bit more popular than the others. I still recall the calmness there.

I am trying to get hold of as much information as possible to make it more interesting, but it has been a long time. My parents have passed away and my brothers have also re-located to other parts of the globe. I have tried to dig around the old stuff but I have not been able to locate specific pictures that I really want to share.

But the reason why I remember this trip is because Star Wars was released in that year and it was showing in Tokyo. Yes sir, we all went to see this picture. And man was I fascinated by the space ships, light sabers and Darth Vader. From that day till today, I am a big big fan of this series.

I have a habit of collecting odd bits of different items that are associated with any of my travels, like airline tickets, bus/train passes, museum entry tickets, post cards, and all sorts of non-essential stuff that you can think of or can categorize as junk. Yes, I keep all of it. And, when time passes it becomes a part of your memory. Following is an example. The Red Crab. This is not an ordinary crab, this crab has traveled from Japan to Pakistan and survived 35 long years! and it is still part of my life. My dad bought it near the Tokyo Tower area from a street vendor. I love this crab, it has a sentimental value and it takes me back in the past.


It was peaceful trip, Japanese are very hardworking, and courteous nation and I witnessed this first hand. There were many funny moments, especially when you struggle in a conversation. 

I will add further to this trip as I remember/recall more about it.


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