Japan: Arrival!

We first arrived in Beijing International for a four hour layover. The airport was ridiculous!

The immensity of the structure is that of a stadium. Lucas and I were completely in awe as we had both never seen such an engineering feat performed for an airport terminal. We decided to have a beer while we waited for our next flight. I am glad I added a burger to that because as soon as I sat down in my chair I fell asleep. While on the way to Narita International, Lucas discovered that Beijing International had been rebuilt for the Olympics. Based on the structures I had seen on the television during the Olympics, the airport’s magnitude made more sense. When we arrived in Japan it was fairly easy to navigate customs. Helpful airport staff corralled all the foreigners and put us into our respective lines and made sure that we had filled out our forms properly. Next came the train station. With the advent of smart phones, navigating nearly any public transportation system is cake. The app we are using is called “Japan Trains.” It is very easy to use and gives you a complete transportation itinerary. We preloaded some passes with yen, bought our tickets, and we were off to our hotel. Once we had become settled in our room we decided to take a stroll. At first we thought that maybe it was an off night because we didn’t see many young people out but it wasn’t long before we hit an artery. At the end of the block was a massive crossing with hundreds of people bustling about. Fortunately we discovered the redlight district early on so we can avoid it in the future. We were hassled and followed for blocks and a man tried to pickpocket me. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a quaint little bar and had a couple of beers with some pizza. I can hardly wait to see what comes next. The atmosphere here is electric!

Places: Beijing, Shinjuku