Yokohama after the Hard Rock Cafe

I used a fork for the first time in 2 weeks! I sort of wish I hadn’t since I was aiming for 2 months, but nevermind.

Now after about a week I’m trying to recall exactly what went on.

After the Hard Rock’s Western-fest, I roamed the streets some more. I was picking between the Landmark Tower or the Mitsubishi Technology Museum.

Unfortunately, I chose wrong.

The Tech Museum was well thought out and very interesting, but was targeted at school kids for the most part. When I got out I knew a lot about the Japan Space Program, but by that point it had clouded over and the Landmark Tower wasn’t worth 1000 yen anymore.

I headed back to the hostel for a bit then found some decent Japanese food for tea. Ended up just being a quiet one as this wasn’t the most social hostel in the world.

The next day it was on to Nara…

Now, a few photos from this jaunt…

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Made it to Yokohama

Just a quick one! I’m in Yokohama! I sat basically picking places off the map and researching them on Wikitravel and in the Lonely Planet book until I settled on the place with the largest Chinatown in Japan.

I’ve checked into Yokohama Hostel Village. It’s a collection of buildings near Chinatown. I have a private Japanese style room, very comfortable and it has a balcony to dry my towel on it (towel needs a wash after 2 weeks). The area it’s in is being regenerated, in fact the hostel itself says that it’s part of that, and the building i’m in used to be a dorm for day labourers. Still, it’s a safe area as nearly all of Japan is, and well connected, and just 10 minutes to Minari 21, which is basically the city centre. It’s only a couple of minutes from Chinatown which I roamed round last night getting some good dim sum and noodles!

I’ve now walked up to the City Centre and found Next, Laura Ashley, The Hard Rock Cafe, Austin Reed and quite a few familiar places! I might go check out the theme park, the Landmark Tower’s 67th floor observation deck or if I can find a way up it, the media tower. Lunch has to be the Hard Rock though, right Jason?

Tokyo

On the Shinkansen to Yokohama!

I’m breaking out of Tokyo for reasons I cannot fully explain. Let’s start with what went wrong. Normally if I check into a hostel I do so since I fancy a chat with the other residents.. However here, a lot of those guests seemed to be using netbooks or laptops or the hostel PCs at 7 at night, when I got there. I cannot judge this for the plank in my own eye, I of course had hooked the touch up to the WiFi. However, when on holiday, I don’t play MMORPG games on the laptop! No, I go out to bars etc and see the sights… Or if I want a night off, I catch up on emails or Skype call home etc… Not gaming online in the middle of a hostel foyer!

A conversation did not just happen as they tend to. I tried a local bar briefly to see if there were English speakers in it to no avail. A quiet Japanese Curry was had. Still, when I went back to said foyer for email before bed, stereotypical backpackers were there too. But I thought I would try another hostel tomorrow. Had to since it was fully booked anyway. There was also a snorer in my room again! ¥400 for 4 earplugs!!! And they didn’t fully work!

Well on to the sights and the bits that did go right. When I got in I checked out the Sony building, wow! It’s 5 floors of pure Sony things! All the latest kit. Was great fun! Even got a few freebies. I then headed round Ginza, the Chelsea of Tokyo! High end posh shops everywhere! Then it was straight to the tourist info to find the aformentioned hostel. They were great! Did the reservation and all for me! I headed up and….. you know this part already.

After dinner I checked out Ueno Park, I have some night shots that I will edit in when I get the laptop back.

The next day I headed straight to the Fish Market, which the lp has been recomending as top notch! It’s a great off the track place! When you get there you see a visitors map etc, but once your in it’s sort of fishy madness! The best way to put it is like a tourist spot the locals too back to authentic again. There are loads of motorized mini carts flying round and the market that sells direct to the public is narrow, full of colour and is amazing. As well as fish there is fresh produce (FYI, apples are the size of softballs and cost ¥100+ here) and cooking equipment for sale. Even backstreet knife shops!

I then headed to the Imperial Palace for a look. It seems you can only get to the gates and in the outer parks, the place and the inner sections are closed on all but 2 days per year! This turned into just a wander around, eventually going ack into Ginza to have a look during the day.

I tried to get to the war museum but the trains bested me. No local trains from Tokyo station on the Chou line? I couldn’t find them

I then headed back to Ueno park to see what that live event was… Turns out it wasn’t a concert or state visit… It was geared up for Cherry Blossom falling picnics. There were loads of people feasting under the trees etc. Turns out there was a travelling art exhibit from the Louvre there too, ergo the French theme!

As nice as Tokyo is I headed back to the hostel to plan my next move. I want a private room!