It’s pretty rare that jet lag has me run down. I have this bizarre (and sometimes inconvenient) ability to fall asleep wherever, whenever, so I’m usually able to rally through that first day after hopping off the plane, and then just crash hard that night with a good 8 hour rest. The first part happened, the second… not so much. Long story short, run down is an understatement- this is a sensation of, like, the 18-wheeler variety- 2 hours of sleep from last night (situation wasn’t helped by the loud girls who came into my hostel dorm at 3am when I had finally fallen asleep…hahaha) and I apologize if this isn’t in English. Here’s a recap of my first day in Japan, a country which I have fallen hard for in a super short period of time 🙂
A blogger friend had suggested that I visit Naritasan temple at some point over the course of my trip, and given that it’s only 1 train stop on the Keisei JR line from Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 2, and I had two hours to kill before checking in to my hostel in the city, I thought, what better time than right off the plane? Worked out well in retrospect but was sort of hard the first few minutes, bleary-eyed and trying to read train station monitors in Japanese and navigate stations with my huge backpack… Luckily it was all very easy. Bought a ticket for 1 stop on the Keisei line to Narita for about ¥160, walked out of the station, put my luggage in a locker to the left, and started down the street to the right and over a bridge to Omotesando Street. This street has been sort of a receiving line for guests walking to the temple for the past 300 years and it’s line with the friendliest faces welcoming you in to their shops and restaurants. Note: JAPANESE PEOPLE ARE INCREDIBLY FRIENDLY. I’m serious. It’s next level. Can’t even tell you how many times people have gone out of their way to unnecessarily escort me to the correct train platform, help me find my hostel, or what have you. Wow tangent after tangent, sorry. Can you tell I’m exhausted?
Omotesando Street runs 800m from the JR (Japanese Rail) station all the way to the Naritasan Temple. I stopped in a cafe for a delicious lunch of fresh tuna and frozen tomato, I think it translated to Chrysanthemum Cafe (pictured below). Again, sweetest people, brought me green tea and a hot wash cloth (lord knows I needed both) and yummy food. I continued down the road, walked around the temple grounds for a solid 2 hours (stunning waterfalls, trails, pagodas, and more! unreal.) Bought a necklace in a shop pictured below on my way back, you choose the stone color/meaning and they custom make it for you- not nearly as tacky as it sounds! Love it. Overall, such a great and accurate intro to what has quickly become one of my favorite countries. Perfect for a long layover at Narita, or just a first or last few hours in the country.
Coming out of the station- luggage lockers on the left! Very easy to use.
Starting down Omotesando… you’ll see a sweet red bean cake shop on the left. SO yummy!
These mums made me smile and think of my mama 🙂 So grateful to my parents for putting up with me erratically running around the world like this before settling down! They’re the very best.
More to come from vibrant, crazy Tokyo!