This article is taken from my self published book – Beyond Sushi and Sashimi
After a ten hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, we quickly got acquainted with the much missed local food – “laksa”, “curry mee”, white coffee and toasted bread with “Hainanese” kaya. After a three hour transit, we were on our journey to Tokyo. At Tokyo’s Narita Airport, around 8pm, armed with a rail voucher, we headed for the Japan Rail office. We finally received our Japan Rail Pass in exchange. After a quick dinner of ramen and sushi, we boarded the Narita Express directly to Tokyo Station. It was a restful journey with views of towering buildings and neon lights. Tokyo Station was massive and throngs of people moved in all directions. It was 10pm. Restaurants and other retails shops were still doing brisk business. It looked like shopping mall crossed with a food court. Wonderful arrays of local delicacies were on display. People moved in all directions.
“The clouds, lit by the city lights, made it seem like the buildings were moving” – Navindd
Tokyo Station is massive with several major lines passing through it. The underground seemed like a district by itself. Numerous food outlets dished out delicious delicacies from cooked food, bento boxes, and “mochi” deserts to restaurants – all within the Daimaru building. This alone covered three stories! The aroma, sight and the rumbling stomach all come together here. This complex is massive. Mind you, there are numerous exits and pathways. Being lost here seems like a delight. The calls and smiles of the vendors is a wonderful spectacle. We loved it here. Something new is discovered daily.
Our hotel was a short walk from the station in Yaesu and Nihonbashi Disrtict. There were all smiles at the hotel’s front desk. Bowing heads and uttering “sumimasen” and “Dōmo arigatō gozaimashita”, were the norm. The room was smallish but adequate to fit the three of us, and very clean. We choose this hotel for its proximity to the train station. After shower, we dressed up in the black and white chequered “Yukata”, robes that were provided. I expected the weather to be cooler but in contrast, pretty balmy. Tired but excited to begin our family adventure in Japan.
“My first impressions of Japan were that it was clean, organised and friendly” – Navindd