In the spirit of adventure, it has of course taken much longer than expected to get to Asia. A few maintenance delays, a plane transfer, some hail and lightning, and 4 hours later… we were finally off from Denver! Arriving late in Tokyo I was faced with a decision: continue onward to Singapore but arrive to my host’s home at 4 am, sleep in the airport and then head to their house, or spend the night in Tokyo and continue with a flight the next day. I chose Tokyo while I envisioned overly polite Asians and abundant fresh sushi.
Needless to say, the first Asians I met were airport employees with little patience for tourists who told me that TCAT (Tokyo Center Air Terminal) is “not too far, not too close”… which makes it where exactly? I finally found a bus out, nearly slept through my stop, and then wandered around for 20 minutes in search of an open hotel. Villa Fontaine was lucky enough for me to grace them with my presence… mostly because my first option was booked and this was the next closest spot. Of course, right after paying, I hear from my dad that his friend is willing to put me up… But I stayed at the hotel and continued my adventure!
Just before midnight I decide to go for a walk around the area in search of the “abundant fresh sushi” that can make up for these mishaps. I allowed myself to get a bit lost in the small backstreets, and quickly learned that this area of Tokyo shuts down around 10pm. After wandering past one last “cafe,” I had a middle-aged Japanese businessman approach me looking to help so I walked toward him and said “English.” He smiled shyly and started speaking broken English slowly…
“A little time? For me?”
All of a sudden it hit me, he was not being friendly he was being OVERLY friendly to this poor little blonde girl. “No!” This made him smile bigger and I heard a broken “But… why…?” as I quickly walked away, deciding that a 24 hour diner around the corner couldn’t be all that bad. I’m sure to any local it was the equivalent of diner food, but to me it ended up being pretty cool that I could order miso soup and tuna over rice after midnight!
My next challenge? Some day figuring out what all of the buttons mean on Japanese toilets…
The Japanese know how to eat in style whether its fresh tuna at a diner, sushi in an airport, meatballs at a hotel buffet, or beer and noodles on an airplane.