As I ate my room service club sandwich, I was flicking through Instagram. Fushimi-Inra shrine, how did I miss this?? Oh wow. I had to go.
I set my alarm for 6am, and had breakfast with people who were only awake because they were getting coaches. I got on the right train- bit tick, and soon reached Inra. From here on in, it was photo heaven! Actually, I might paste some in below..!
Pictures go here.
It was an amazing place, and it was well worth being there early, as everyone stayed out of my shot! The fragrance of the whole place was incredible too, not sure if anyone knows what that was? Wasn’t sure if it was a flower, or the fragrance of candles. It was divine. I climbed a long way up the mountain, through the orange arches, but- I had to get to Tokyo too- so couldn’t stay long. I climbed a long way, but then learnt it was only half way!
I’m now on the train to Tokyo. Drinking cold, milky tea, eating rice triangles, and listening to a chap hacking up in the bathroom. Laters.
I got quite a lot done on that train trip actually, I could have managed another 2 hours tbh. But, eek, before I knew it, I was in Tokyo. Shinagawa station is another big ******. I could SEE the hotel in the distance, but I couldn’t get to it… I traversed a few side streets and, naturally, realised there was a quicker way, through a shopping centre. That’s always the way. Retail is king here.
Plush hotel, but am missing my roadside position. I’m the opposite to most people, I don’t want a quiet hotel, I want to be part of the life in the city too! I rewarded myself with a rest (why do I always feel guilty when I do this!?) and planned to head to Ginza to see the famous busy junction. I never found it. I got hopelessly lost. However,still lost, I ended up where I’d begun. What witchcraft is that!? Train stations and shops don’t help, where you go in one way, but come out another, possibly in blooming Kyoto or something!
Everywhere was crazy. People, shops, things, movement, noise, bags, things, people. It was oddly addictive. When a language is SO different, it’s amazing how alien you can feel in a country, it really is, though. I imagine some people just couldn’t cope with it, and would be cowering in the corner! Every so often, I want to.
I’m usually a superb map reader, but- somehow these Tokyo streets absolutely flummoxed me! In the cutest possibly way, I’m always on edge in Japan. Busily making sure I’m on course, screen-shotting maps and train timetables like crazy, and it always feels like a life achievement when I arrive somewhere, even if it’s only 2 stations down.
Something of note was the noise from the slot machine joints, which was only present when someone opened the doors to arrive or leave. It was like switching a radio on and off. Tres amusing.
I found some western respite in Starbucks, but drank a matcha frappuccino.
I also explored Shinjuku, it was dark by the time I arrived, so I experienced the full neon glow. This was Tokyo. Like Piccadilly Circus 100 times over. I was underwhelmed by 2chome, but now I am residing in a Spanish (!!) bar, with red wine. I might order another one now. Gosh.
I didn’t order prawns, yet they’ve just arrived at the table.
I find it incredibly amusing how everyone queries for the train, yet bundles when it arrives. Cute.