09 March 2008

Loosing Time in Tokyo

I'm in Tokyo. Lost a day getting here and I have a bit of jetlag, but I am here.

First impressions.... efficient, grey, industrial, not that pretty, sprawling, extremely organized, neon, polite, headrest doilies & warm toilet seats. Headrest doilies? I'll get to that in a second.

Efficient - After landing and getting off the airplane, it literally took no more than 15 minutes to walk the length of the concourse, get through immigration, get a luggage cart and my luggage, go through customs, find the airport limosine buses, purchase a ticket, and be on the bus headed for my hotel. I have never seen so much effieciency and I love it. The limo buses come a mere 5 minutes apart headed for destinations all over Tokyo. You line up in the corresponding line to your destination, two luggage handlers tag your bags, and when the bus comes, you get on and the baggage handlers get your luggage on the same bus.

I suspect this place has to have this level of punctuality and efficiency since Tokyo is so large (one of the largest cities in the world) or else everything here would collapse into gridlock and pandemonium. I just can't even imagine New York City running to this degree. Thing happen in NYC by brute force... people just do it and make it work. But if something goes wrong... eh, no big deal. That "no big deal" attitude just doesn't seem to exsist here in Japan. It was all very
impressive.

The bus ride was loooooong. I was going from Narita Airport to Yokohama on the far side of Tokyo from each other. Jetlag was setting in. I was sleepy but trying to stay awake to get on Japan time as quickly as possible. We passed most of Tokyo on the way, including Tokyo Disneyland and from the view from the bus, it seems such a vast, large, and sprawling city.
I never really figured out where Tokyo ended and Yokohama began. It is also a very industrial town. Smoke stack, factories, and port after port along the coast. I realized this morning that there just wasn't a lot of green to be found. It is a very grey town with lots of tall block apartment buildings. Maybe its because it is early march here and still winter, but I just didn't see many trees anywhere along the route from the airport to the hotel.

OK.... the headrest doilies. It seems like all the cars & buses have them. I am not even sure what they are called, but they are these white doily material things that fit over the headrests and armrests on the cars and buses. Its like my grandmother got a hold of all the cars and buses over here and crochetted little headrest doilies for all of them. I'll try to get a photo of these so you can see what I mean.

Jet lag had kicked in big time by the time I had hit the hotel. I don't really remember much about the next hour or so except that I am on the 25th floor of this really nice hotel overlooking the harbor in Yokohama. My floor is a special floor with its own elevator and its own breakfast/ social gathering area. At night, from above, the city gets prettier. All the neon lights stand out in the darkness and all that grey industrial-ness disappears. It is very pretty. There is an old-time amusement park with lots of twrily neon lights near the hotel. I may explore there one night with the camera to see what I can come up with photo-wise.

Ah... the toilet seats here are sent from heaven. They are heated and the toilets come with built-in bidets. My mom would love it. How on earth am I ever expected to go back to non-heated toilet seats now that I have sat on the heated ones?

1 comment:

Joy said...

Heated toilet seats? I'd just be thankful for toilets that flushed consistently!