We landed in Tokyo after a not-so-terrible-at-all 13 & ½ hour flight. Seriously, it wasn’t bad!

Our luggage was super easy to get. Narita airport staff actually takes it off the conveyor belt and leaves it lined up in neat, orderly rows. And the ‘Friendly Airport Limo’ ticket was simpler to get than I imagined even though the staff spoke no English. My Japanese lessons are already paying off! It took us just over an hour to drive from Narita through Tokyo on an expressway to get to the nicest hotel I have ever been in. It is huge, clean, brand new and beautiful. It reminded me of the best Vegas hotel without the layer of hooker on it. We upgraded (TOTALLY worth it) to the Deluxe room with the view. The view, of course, referring to the enormous picture window overlooking Shibuya and Mt. Frickin Fuji from the awesome soaking bathtub. Yeah, our bathtub had a view. An awesome view! Of course our room was spotless & designed in that modern style that Bri loves. We had a nice plate of fresh fruit waiting for us and please believe me when I tell you that you have never tasted Kiwi until you’ve eaten it on the this side of the world. And we had some crazy mango thing that had edible skin and was just lovely.

After a quick shower we threw some clothes on & went for our 1st adventure. We were situated on the side of a major highway running through Shibuya. There are foot bridges and sidewalk paths that lead away from the hotel toward the center of the city. We just headed off and found ourselves up one of many, many little side alleys in a for-real Izikaya. And we jumped rite in! Bri ordered the sweet potato shochu and I got the rice shochu. It was gross and nothing like its tasty, sweet Korean cousin. More like a combination of whisky and lighter fluid. Then we ordered a bowl of squishy tofu, an order of grilled chicken livers yakitori and some pork face skewers. They were amazing.

We wandered some more and found a Sega arcade. Brian battled some guy in a wacky Japanese version of Street Fighter. He played a Taiko Drum game and kicked my butt 3 to 1 in knock hockey. It was basically the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy. On our way out of the arcade we went to what I thought was a dessert stand for some ice cream or some fried dessert thing which wound up being a gigantic fried squid ball topped in a soy & mayonnaise sauce. It was a little unexpected but totally tasty. At this point we were rounding 11pm and were exhausted. On the way back to the hotel Bri took me thru the famous Shibuya crossing – the crazy street with like 47 crosswalks all intersecting under fabulous lights and neon that rival Times Square. The scale was too big to put into words. I am awed! We hit up a little convenience store before making it back to the hotel for some cheap-ass Japanese biru, weird Doritos that we don’t have @ home and this pouch of pulpy Vitamin C stuff. We were too tired to finish our ghetto cans of biru and passed out!!!

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