Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Japan January 2008

Our journey began on a misty, boreal January afternoon at Jeonju's express bus terminal. Me, Matt and Hannah boarded the bus for the four hour journey to Busan on the south coast.

Transiting through, we made our way to the overnight ferry bound for Fukoka Japan.

Our accomodation was to be an eight berth cabin, with fold out matts for the floor and a cuboid rubber covered pillow.

Despite the fact that we weren't sailing untill half past nine that night, boarding closed at seven o'clock. We were not scheduled to arrive in Japan untill 7AM.

Following a journey of discovery into the Japanese beer offerings and a few hours of poker with improvised chips we took a seat in the lounge and struck up a conversation with a Chinese NASA scientist who also spoke fluent English and Japanese, on his way back home from a holiday on Korea.

The night ended after conciderably more beer and us crashing out on the floor, Han went for a bath in the onboard sauna sloshing around with the waves.

Blearey eyed we awoke a few hours later to the air horns of our ferry as it docked if Fukoka. We grabbed our gear and made our way past the Japanese customs as they took our retina scans and diital fingerprints.

We hopped on a bus outside the ferry terminal, driven by a woman in a suit and a chauffeur's hat. Within a few minutes we were at Fukoka main train station that looked more like an airport with trains that looked more like planes.

We took the next train to Tokyo via Osaka. Four hours later we arrived in Tokyo and went off to find ourselves somewhere to stay that night.

After exploring for a while me and Matt found ourselves a capsule hotel for the night, unfortunatly, being single sex Hannah went and found an all night sauna / spa to sleep in

After a day looking around Tokyo we took ourselves off for some sushi and hot saki. A good few hours later we stumbled back to our capsules rather worse for wear and spent a night asleep in what resembled a mortuary more than a hotel.

Up early the next morning, we went for a quick shower and hot bath in the sauna on the top floor of our capsule hotel and went off to meet Hannah.

After meeting some friends who were also in Tokyo we headed into the technology district to see the latest offerings of Japanese technology, did some shopping and had a few drinks in Japans' anser to Camden. We spent the next few hours watching in amazment the parade of "alternative" Japanese fashion victims.

That night we headed to Tokyo tower to meet some other friends and travelled into the the playboy Raponghi district for new years eve.

The first bar we tried was a little on the steep side at £10 a pint for heineken! After a few more bars we found one that offered all you can drink all night for £20 a head. An amazing find considering all of the other offerings.

A few glasses of champagne, shots of Jagermeister, bottles of Corona and alcopops later we were celebrating the dawning of the year of the rat with 250 very inhebriated Japanese people.

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