Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Joyfully Japan

In June 2016, was in Japan for four days for business. I was initially not excited to go as it would entail me traveling almost by my lonesome and my family is not with me. After my very traumatic experience last December, traveling by myself is the last thing I want to do. Although I'm with a group, most of them have their own agenda so I basically had a day to myself.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and the weather was not cooperating. A small group wanted to go to Shibuya to see the crossing but it started raining. We initially did not want to buy any umbrellas but when the drizzle became a downpour, we had no choice but to buy some.

It's supposed to show where the vacant seats are available. Took us time to decipher this.

My little cubicle.

My first ramen in Japan

Posting with my cute umbrella (which I could not bring home because of the size)

Behind the bright lights of Shibuya

The neon signs are absolutely breathtaking

After walking around, we were pretty hungry already as some of us haven't had lunch yet and it was past 6 in the evening. We ended up in Ichiran where we basically figured out their ordering and seating system. We each had a cubicle where we ordered our personalized ramen and ate in silence (and hunger).

We then explored Shibuya afterwards where I ended up in a store to buy the pens of my friend.

The next day was our planning session so we were stuck in the conference room for half of the day. Afterwhich, we had lunch at the hotel restaurant where I saw how beautiful a prepared Japanese plate could be. Then, we attended another session with our host, JCB where they treated us to dinner afterwards.

The fun part happened on Saturday.

We woke up early where a couple of colleagues and I went to Tsukiji market to taste some of the freshest sushi that I've ever tasted. We took the train and we ended up here where the lines of people greeted us outside the restaurants.

People lining up for their taste of sushi

After patiently waiting for half an hour, we were seated where we ordered our own sushi bowls. The colors were so beautiful and it did not disappoint. I completely demolished this bowl including every grain of rice. Everything was just so fresh!

my sushi bowl over rice
After breakfast, we ventured back to our hotel where I planned my route for the day. We went our separate ways and my first stop was Akihibara where I checked out toys and video games for my friends. Finding that everything was as expensive, I went to another mall where I bought a pair of sneakers for hubby from Onitsuka Tiger. I then went to Ginza where the Pandora shop was located so I can get my mandatory charm (I buy a charm from every country that I visit).

I managed to successfully navigate their complicated rail system but managed to get lost in the exits

I was pretty beat when I returned to the hotel as I have already walked more than 25,000 steps (I got lost while looking for the exits at the station). We visited a nearby shrine/temple and had merienda at the local Shooters. Afterwhich, we had dinner at a nearby ramen place.

I really fell in love with Japan. Other than the US, I found a place where I would want to settle down and live. People are SO polite and the city, considering its population, is so peaceful. We were supposed to return this year for our 10th year wedding anniversary but I got pregnant so so much for that plan. Hopefully, we can make the trip soon.

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