If there’s a skill that Shannon and I are masters of it’s sleep. Sure, middle of the night was middle of the day according to our bodies, but DAMMIT – we can nap with the best of ’em. So after a fairly successful night of rest in our closet (er, hotel room,) we showered, got dressed, and started making our way through Tokyo.
Remember my earlier mention of the international iPhone and why is was such an AMAZING investment? Here’s where the magic begins… Before leaving the hotel, I checked with Google Maps to see how far away the rental car place was from our hotel. According to the direction, it was either an 18 minute train ride or a 24 minute walk.
Shannon and I are the walking sort, so we started hoofing it. As we stepped out of the hotel, I pulled up walking directions via Google Maps and watched myself as a blue dot move along sidewalks on roads with names that I couldn’t read. I kept track of where we were going and confirming we were in the right direction by watching the phone and looking around. It was really, really, REALLY, easy.
Walking also gave us a chance to pass and see some interesting local sites. Fun fact: 7-11 is a store AND a bank in Japan. Check it out:
Further down the road, we came across a “RESTAURANT AND COFFEE” place. Look familiar?
Alas, time never permitted for us to attempt to partake in a Japanese “Moons Over My Hammy” – but I was seriously tempted to try.
As we kept walking along the bay, we were immediately reminded what time of year it was in Japan. For those of you that don’t know, once a year the Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) bloom and the country is lined with pink petals everywhere. This photo is of the first blooms we saw:
Simply. Amazing. (And the caucasian chick is pretty, too!)
Walking is a very important part of travel for Shannon and I. We like to see more than just the inside of trains, cars, and planes. We like seeing cities at ground level… the smells, the air, the people. It paints a much better picture (in my opinion) that just looking out the occasional window.
So we walked.
We stopped along the way at a french pastry place to grab some tea, orange juice, and breakfast. While waiting on our food, Shannon casually walked up to me and (very matter of factly) told me I should think about getting some of today’s soup. Her face was plain and totally unreadable, so I assumed (for whatever reason) that she was serious.
I walked over and looked at the sign on the counter. Without missing a beat, I casually raised my iPhone and snapped a quick pic to post on the Wasabi Anime Instagram. Here is that photo:
That’s right. Cram chowder.
After breakfast, we walked across the street and found the Nissan car rental place. Our plan: to rent a car for the day and leave Tokyo to see sights outside the city. We wanted to see Mount Fuji and this Nissan Cube (with the steering wheel on the other side) was going to take us there.
Right after taking that photo, I got in the car and started repeating a mantra I would repeat over and over again for the next two days…
“Stay to the left. Stay to the left. Stay to the left.”
More to come.