After what was a very long 12 hour trip (so long I even saw Frozen), with 24 hours of daylight (the stewardesses close the windows of the plane to create a false night), we arrived, yes, we arrived at my dream. What happened next I will try to explain in words, but only I know how extraordinary that moment was, it had all been worth it.
When I arrived at Narita airport, the first thing I had to do was go to the post office, since I had hired portable wifi (the best thing I did). It was at that moment that the first magic happened, I had to speak Japanese. At that time I had only studied Japanese for 1 year, I doubted my ability to communicate. However, I asked a security guard (bless his exixtence):
Me: “Sumimasen, yuubinkyoku wa doko desuka?” (excuse me, where is the post office?)
Guard: “Nikai desu” (second floor)
Me: “Arigatou gozaimasu” (muchas gracias)
And that´s how I spoke to a Japanese the first time and he understood me! I felt inmensely proud and happy. Meanwhile my sister was looking at me with a “you´re crazy” face, and she was right. So there we went, to the second floor, we saw the post office where the staff asked for my passport and, in fact, there was my portable wifi.
How colud I, 24 years old, with little travel experience, be able to send a portable wifi device to Narita airport from Uruguay?
It may not seem like a big deal, but so far I can´t believe that moment.
The first thing I remember about Tokyo is Ueno Station. It was April, wich means Sakura season (cherry blossoms), so, there was a synthetic tree with stuffed pandas underneath, everything is pink!.
When I crossed the doors of that station I had the feeling of being in my house, it had never happened to me, I felt that this was my place, it is hard to explain, but the feeling was of absolute belonging.
After so much research, I knew the map of Tokyo by heart (visually), so it was easy for me to get to the hotel and locate myself in the city, although I must admit that without knowing how to read Japanese it would not have been so easy. Not only that, but in Japan things are not always at eye level, there are shops in buildings, roads, railways, everything on different levels, we did not know where to cross or where the bridges toook us, but we quickly got used to it.
So we got to the hotel, it was the cheapest I could find, however the receptionist was very friendly and although she didn´t speak English, we understood each other. Here the second magic happened, as soon as we arrived, the receptionist gave us an envelope containing tickets for the Ghibli museum (a very famous animation studio), I still have the envelope with its seal and handwritten address.
The hotel was modest but it was next to the train station. As it was the first trip on my own, I decided to stay in hotels near the stations, nowadays, with more experience, I do not recommend doing it, it is very easy to get around the city and get better prices in more remote areas.
After leaving our bags at the hotel, we went out to explore the surroundings, it was night, everything was decorated for the Hanami (an activity where the Japanese sit under the cherry trees to eat with friends). We had dinner at a McDonald’s, I must admit, we were tired and it was late. I leave you the photos of that day!
This journey has just begun, follow us in our next post!