arrival in tokyo
After 3 connecting plane flights from istanbul via dubai and osaka, I am now happily ensconced at my friend dave's tokyo apartment.
The first two flights were on emirates, which was nice (although the first flight was on a fairly tatty old boeing, the second one was the more usual high quality brand-new airbus), and although dubai airport at 1am was filled with packs of jetlagged travellers wandering dazed through the airport or sleeping on the floor, osaka was a haven of peace, order, and lots of great ways to spend yen killing time at the airport.
During my osaka layover, within 60 minutes of arrival at osaka I had gotten crisp new yen bills from the atm, eaten a delicious unagi and rice dinner with a draft kirin, and a 15 minute head-and-shoulder massage that did wonders for my own jetlag. Once I arrived in Tokyo, Dave met me at the airport and we immediately began to adjust to my new timezone by staying out until almost 3am drinking and eating in local neighborhood spots.
Ah, back in the land of am/pm minimarkets (which i haven't seen at home in a long time, and the japanese ones use the cooler 80s logo anyways), 7-11s (now evidently merged with a really confusing entity called "seven & i holdings", which also owns denny's japan, and according to their org chart, a bunch of other japanese companies as well -- check our their corporate synergy strategy diagram... it gives me corporate strategy powerpoint shudders just to look at it.),
We've acquired tickets to an all-day sumo match tomorrow, which promises to be top fun. In addition, while I wait for my India visa to clear (my next destination). i'll make a short trip to hiroshima, or possibly check out Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea just to do something completely different and indulge my occasional western culture fix.