We arrived at Narita Airport around 8:30am, yesterday morning, everyone slightly disheveled and sleep deficient. Mum hates flying and the kids are not great plane sleepers…. I had more sleep than I regularly do, and we hit the ground running.
JR passes efficiently processed by the lovely Hashimoto-san in the JR East office at Narita airport. Mum was visibly impressed with both the customer service and the precision of his work. Something I have come to love about Japan when travelling here.
Onto the NEX express and straight into Tokyo Station. A quick change to my beloved Yamanote Line and off at Ueno. We found our baggage storage place, a convenient and new service, which I believe is internationally available, called Bagbnb…. like Airbnb, but for your luggage. Unencumbered by our bags, we set off to find lunch.
It was not long before the sweet wafting delightful aroma of yakitori caught my nose, and we found ourselves in an izakaya full of inebriated Japanese salarymen, drinking, laughing and smoking. Mum was shocked and horrified about the smoking inside. She is a smoker, so it’s quite funny that she was the most appalled. The Japanese have electronic air cleaners in their pubs, and I usually find it pretty inoffensive. The yakitori are usually worth it. This was no exception. Mum and Ted were blown away by the food, the cost of the beer and wine, and Mum decided she could probably quite happily live in Japan…
After lunch we headed to Ueno Park. The first ever park in Tokyo, Ueno is a beautiful spot. The sun was shining. It was around 30 degrees and the park is lively and full of museums and art galleries and temples. We went to the Tokyo National Museum, a place I have wanted to visit for sometime. They have an excellent collection of samurai swords and armour, and the most exquisite collection of vintage kimono. It was a wonderful exhibition, and everyone was engaged, but super tired and struggling. So we retrieved our bags and headed to Ebisu, to our brilliant, cute and very Japanese accommodation.
Everyone found their beds, showered, and chilled out for a bit. Super Sake Boy and I went on a little reconnaissance mission for tea, beer, wine and maybe a little sake. We found a great little restaurant, in the Sapporo Beer Museum, booked a table and retrieved the rest of the family….. dinner was very delicious and I am really enjoying spending time with Mum and Ted. The teenagers are being wonderful, thus far. Finn has missed Japan, but is fearful he is turning into his mother. Taking photos of nature and appreciating cultural diversity. He has embraced being back after 3 and a half years away.
After a quiet drink with the parental units…. we all fell into bed.