Planning the adventure: Japan day 1

Nothing about the election? Nope. I have my thoughts and am enjoying reading about various political arguments but right now the thing you probably don’t need is another opinion on the snap election. So instead, lets talk about Japan!

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As you may well already know I’m finally heading out there with Lucy after many years of dreaming. A number of my friends have been asking me what my plans are, where I’m staying and what I plan to do. I thought it would be cool to talk about the planning stage in more length than my monthly updates because then I can shower you with pictures and cute shit.

DAY 1: Arrive at Haneda, check into Luis Flat and go to Harajuku.

I’ve not flown much before. The furthest I’ve been is to Turkey and I have no experience of jet lag. We will arrive in Japan early in the Morning and Haneda Airport will be my first surprise after the scale of Heathrow.

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My plan at the Airport is to get all of our train tickets sorted for our main journeys. Literally print off all the passes and keep them in date order so travelling around will be less stressful. My favourite Gaijin, Lee, gave me some top tips for travelling around including this one. Thanks to the Japan Rail Pass I hope that I will have most of my travelling stress sorted on Day 1.

After this we will train it to a Japan surburb called Nerima where we are staying at our first ever Airbnb. I’ve heard great and awful things about Airbnb so have tried to book safely. Ultimately my thoughts are that we should be able to find alternative accommodation if things go belly up as we’re in a chuffing metropolis. As it stands we’re paying about £20 a night for a room in a shared house so I can weather that potential loss.

Once we dumped all our stuff we’ll take a short train jouney to Harajuku. Why Harajuku? Because it looks mental on Saturday mornings and it will hopefully be the perfect culture shock to start the trip.

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Harajuku is one place where Tokyo teens apparently hang out. Lucy saw images like this years ago in Fruits magazine and instantly fell in love with the crazy street fashion. I won’t lie, I think it’s all a bit too much but that’s precisely why I want to go there on Day 1. 11 hours of flying plus all the usual gumph at the airport will be stupidly dull. What better way to contrast the boredom of a flight than with glorious rainbow colours.

As for the rest of the day we’ll probably find some easy bars and restaurants that aren’t too far out of our reach. We’ve got three nights in Tokyo to start with so there will be plenty of time to explore. I’ve upgraded my phone and will be taking pocket wifi with me so I will be hitting tripadvisor and google to find most of what I need. The rest will be done to intuition and the senses. If a place looks fun we’ll probably go there!

Thanks for reading. Will update this blog as and when and DAY 2-3 will be posted in the next few weeks. Also, any tips for Harajuku or dealing with jet lag – let me know!

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