Friday, September 09, 2005

Lots of People

While I have visited Japan and Tokyo before this is first time I have had to travel outside downtown Tokyo (beyond taxi). It is almost an overwhelming experience. First of all, Tokyo Station is absolutely huge and the amount of sensory input is vast with most of it totally incomprehensible to someone who doesn't speak more that 20 phrases of Japanese and cannot read the first bit. Add to this confusion is a cajillion people going in every direction. I was fortunate to have a local as guide or I would probably still be standing in the middle of the crowd wondering where to buy a ticket. There are evidently different systems and each has it's own ticket counter. There are a lot of messages on the electronic boards in English but it is translation English and doesn't necessarily correspond to what you might think.
Tickets bought and you are assigned a car and seat and there is specific place on the one of what may be a 100 platforms where the door to your car will stop and open for a couple of minutes. The train will absolutely leave on time.

Once on the train the ride is smooth and comfortable and very quiet even though you are traveling like a bat out of hell. I must say the scenery is a little wanting and while there a few rice fields and stuff to see most of Japan seems to be urban or urban sprawl with a a high density mix of apartment buildings with what appear to be very small apartments. A little disappointing.

My goal for tonight is to sleep a full 8 hours and not wake at 4am (3pm EDT) and then try and spend Saturday figuring out the subway system.

So I am back in my hotel in Tokyo after a one day trip North to be introduced to the client. Sunday I will head back North and spend the week at the client and travel back to Tokyo for the weekend. From what I saw of Nasu on the taxi ride to the client there is not much to entertain there and explains why the client pays for our weekends in Tokyo.

As a side note you may or may not be as depressed as I am with respect to the number of "Golden Arches" I saw in the several hundred mile train trip today or with the fact that the first thing you see as you step out of the hotel in the heart of the Ginza is a freaking Denny's. Gimme a break!

I was hoping to be able to post a picture tonight but most of what I got was a blurry telephone pole whizzing by....I will try and do better tomorrow.

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