Sunday, March 25, 2012

Japan Part 2: Why I Hate the Tokyo Subway


Let me start off by saying F*** the Tokyo Subway System.

If you have ever had to deal with the subway in Tokyo I’m sure you would agree. Multiple companies own different part of the system making it confusing to buy day passes, the whole thing is a poorly marked maze that makes very little intuitive sense, it is expensive as hell, and it stole Monica’s shoe. Here is an account of our adventures dealing with this frustrating system while exploring Tokyo.

We get out of the airport and go to the subway. While talking to the ticket lady about how to get to our hostel she causually mentions there is an express bus and we agree to buying tickets for it before hearing the price. 1200 Yen. Now 1200 Won is about $1 so at first we didn’t think anything of it but then we did the math, 1200 Yen is about $16. O_O That’s a lot of money for a subway ride (that still took over an hour). We were pissed. This woman just made us spend a lot more money then we wanted and we were poor. From then on she became the scapegoat for all of our subway problems.

Finally we got to our hostel and were super excited to see what these “capsules” (our sleeping arrangement) were going to be like.
Cool. Then grab something to eat and head out to Tokyo Tower. On the way to the tower I got this weird feeling. Looking around at all these lights, people, signs in different languages; my breathing quickens, my heart starts pounding, my head starts reeling, what is this feeling? It’s almost like being in love. It is this feeling I live for and why I am so addicted to traveling. Everything is so new and foreign, there is a wealth of information for the taking just by looking around. I get a surge of dopamine just like when I am talking to someone I am crushing on hardcore. I can honestly say I am in love with traveling and it was in this moment, walking to Tokyo Tower I grabbed one of the girl’s arms and just had them lead me as I took it all in. 

Ok enough with all the emotions. Tokyo Tower was sick! We couldn’t go to the very top but we did get to a major observation deck (and quite possibly snuck some sake in juice boxes up with us). The view was amazing!
Interesting fact: Tokyo Tower was meant to look like the Eiffel Tower, see it? 
 Getting home afterwards was a nightmare. We were exhausted, got off on the wrong stop and lost our tickets, tried to tell people what happened, and paid for new tickets (these tickets aren't cheap either I just imagined that lady from the beginning behind a window somewhere laughing at us). Finally we get back to the hostel and stumbled into bed. We had to get up at 4am the next morning. 

It's 4am and we get a 3000 yen ($42) cab (guess what wasn't open?) to the Tsukili Tuna Auction where we got to drool over the largest fish I have ever seen in real life. Check it out:
After staring at this for awhile, fish needed to be consumed, so we found the first sushi restaurant we could find and spent waay too much money eating heavenly pieces of raw fish.

Ok, what to do now? lets buy a day pass for the subway and explore Tokyo! Now to be honest most of this day is a blur, we're exhausted and we are hitting up waay too many parts of Tokyo. I know we explored Roppongi (foreigner district) then tried to get to the Pokemon Center so I could fangirl. Were told we couldn't do it because blah blah blah STFU Tokyo Subway we did it anyways (*make inappropriate gestures to that woman*). Pokemon Center wasn't that great (too crowed) but was still cool to check out. Unfortunately, by this time my feet and back were killing me (stupid me didn't wear shoes with arch support). To make things worse we couldn't find a subway that was owned by the right company that we bought our day passes for.

So we walked. For.ever.
(*I believe this is paybacks for the inappropriate gestures from earlier*)

At this point I'm delirious with pain and I'm not quite sure what happened. There was a random temple, we went to some shopping district that was too rich and pointless and then finally got on a subway to Harajuku. It's dinner time and we are starving, we walk into a random nice ramen place and OMG. The. Best. Ramen. Ever. 

We ate in that window in the top right corner
Harajuku is a shopping district so we did some shopping but at this point the girls were feeling the pain too. So it was time to head home. 

Probably the most memorable moment of the trip happened on the way home, read about it here

As soon as we got back to the hostel I knocked out. Apparently the other girls stayed up, made friends and dyed Sara's hair. Not I. Sleep was all I cared about and no one was going to get in the way.

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