In some ways it feels like I just arrived in Japan yesterday, but its been almost 2 weeks! I have been having an incredible time, though, thanks to all my friends who have shown up this week.
I accomplished one of the most important goals of my trip to Tokyo: I visited the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in search of the perfect bowl of Ramen. You can read my obsessive reviews here. Long story short: I was disappointed in the ramen but learned quite a bit about the history of the dish and its various styles. I visited the Tokyo Tower (worlds tallest free-standing steel structure, justtaller than the eiffel tower), took a day trip to Yokohama, visited the famous Tsukiji street market (largest fish market in the world - I ate some incredible fish there but left my camera at home) and visited the very weird atHome cafe (aka “Maid Cafe” in Akihabara). I’m leaving out all the details, but you can find most of them as descriptions to photos.
Tomorrow I am leaving by train to Aizu-wakamatsu, where I am staying with Jay at his apartment. January 7th is a special festival in Aizu where the men in the town strip down to loin cloths, drink lots of sake and run up to the top of a temple in the snow, which of course I will be doing. On the 8th, I return to Tokyo for a night and then on the evening of the 9th, after a Sumo match, Mayu and I are going down to Osaka where we will be staying with her friend Yohei. I’ll be spending some days in Kyoto and possibly Nagoya before I return to Tokyo around the 14th (?) to catch a yet-to-be-booked flight to either Hong Kong, Seoul, or Auckland. My internet access will probably be sporadic for a while, but I will post more info here as I figure it out.