We left Okayama at 7pm on Saturday night, spent 11 hours on the night bus and arrived Sunday morning.
The night bus is like no European bus I have been on, it is warm (maybe too warm for me), but comfy, the seats recline to a decent angle, come with pillows and blankets, and no one kicks the back of your seat. On top of that your seat has an optional hood to pull down providing you with privacy as you pull ugly faces during your sleep.
Arrived at 6.30am, and went to our first of many Starbucks trips
Starbuck and McDonald's both came in plentiful supply. So a breakfast in McDonald's was in order. I was surprised to see many Japanese girls using the plugs provided in McDonald's to straighten and curl their hair, in the middle of the restaurant. The rest of the stores power sockets had phone's plugged into them, frequently with no owner in sight. People just don't seem to worry about theft here at all!
Just some views
If like me you have never heard the melody before, how am I supposed to know when the melody is nearing its end?! I asked myself as the doors swiftly shut and the train buggered off into the distance.
Safety gates, I actually like these as normally I am constantly worried that I will fall or be pushed in front of a train by a crazy person.
FYI there are as many, if not more crazies in Tokyo than in London.
As always some interesting signage
(left) A burglar alarm we found next to the toilet, in case someone tried to rob you whilst you peed?
(right) No 'striding' over...
(below) 'lillness'? how can 'place of family' be an effect?
Meiji Jingu (The shrine)
So you are wandering around Tokyo, one of the biggest busiest cities in the world, narrow streets, tall buildings, people everywhere, and constant noise of life going on around you. Then suddenly you see this great wooden gate. You walk through and you are in a forest. Apparently we went at a particularly busy time, but all things considered it was still incredibly peaceful amongst the trees, in the middle of Tokyo!
Rows upon rows of sake canisters. This is probably 15 feet high.
As you venture further into the forest you come across another gate, through which you find the temple.
(from the inside)
We actually saw a traditional Japanese wedding, under the red umbrella walks the bride wearing a white hood, followed by a procession of people, though it was pretty hard to photograph.
As evening began to fall, the path through the forest was lit by these lamps which had a very Narnia feel to them.
Harajuku aka the shopping street of wonders!
This street took busy to a whole new level, as far as the eye can see, people crowded into the narrow street.
Oh my gosh, so many bright lights and pretty things!
Eeeeee cute pony shop! It took serious will power not to buy a giant pony phone case.
It wouldn't be Japan without weird products. Face masks with snake venom and snail in them, yum...
Me looking as beautiful as always!
My home from home, the British pub!
Our fish 'n' chips dinner definitely made my day. Even if they did serve my cider in a wine glass.
They even served the food in fake English newspaper, and I was very amused to see that I was provided with chopsticks, which were packaged in more newspaper. A nice touch though.
And I bought myself a present, which I was very pleased to find in Japan!
The end of the brilliant day, weighed down by shopping and winter coats, exhausted and about to return onto the sleep bus: me in front of a giant eye in Tokyo.
The City by Night
Maybe it was just my exhausted brain, but standing at the base of one of many skyscrapers in Tokyo, which seemed to reach out to the moon as it defiantly shone through the polluted and cloud filled night sky, I felt a mixture of insignificance, and awe at the incredible and limitless beauty this world possess.