Friday, 20 September 2013


Day 1, and we are exhausted already. Maria has collapsed for a late afternoon nap (or at least trying with me mucking around with devices in the background) and I have a serious case of 'tourist leg'.

The train and subway systems are immense in this town, and we found it tricky getting around because so far we haven't figured out a simple way to determine which stations have both, which is pretty important when, as was the case today, it seemed everywhere we wanted to go required multiple changes b/w the above and below ground systems. Our travel card took a beating today as we mixed mindless wandering, going on a goose chase for a telco store that didn't seem to exist, and a couple of mandatory touristy things like going to Tokyo Tower. There is something about getting high above a city to get ones bearings that helps in the first days being somewhere new.

As is my want, I spend plenty of time planning the connectivity before we travel. The harsh reality so far is that plan A (a visitor SIM in my portable Wi-Fi device) is not working, nor is the backup plan (a global data SIM that we can use in the iPad while out and about). One final effort to fix it tomorrow, but it might leave me connection free during the day when away from the hotel. Horror of horrors.

Meanwhile, Tokyo kind of overwhelms you, and we haven't even scratched the surface. Wandering around Ginza and then later at Akihabara, a whole district dedicated to electronics with colour and lights bombarding the senses, left me feeling decidedly outside, a mere spectator in a mammoth commercial system. No chance to process properly, tomorrow we'll be a bit more competent getting around and hopefully Maria will be less frustrated with my fluffing around with maps and gadgets.