Summer Journeys – getting to Tokyo and seeing Narita

Man, I’m really having a good run today… second article already! 😀

So as you know from the previous article, I was driving to Tokyo on the 1st of September. As te cheapskate that I tend to be from time to time, I decided to se a special ticket, which would allow me to get there with only local trains for really cheap (2300Yen). No other offer could beat that price or even get close to it. But there was a slight disadvantage, which I hadn’t foreseen to be so annoying: traveling such a distance by local trains takes forever and you have to change trains far too often… in total, I was probably driving 15 hours including waiting times (which were rather short at least) and had to change trains 14 or 15 times too. After 7 or 8 hours of train riding I was already quite annoyed and that was only half the ride… so in essence, it wasn’t that much fun and even reading, sleeping and solving sudokus stopped beeing entertaining at some point. When I got to my destination in the evening, I was done for and wanted nothing more than to sit down and go to sleep soon after that. I can recommend this way of getting to Tokyo only from the money perspective – the rest of it sucks xD

The next day however would prove more enjoyable, as I was going to pick up my brother at the Narita airport and do a quick sightseeing tour in Narita before that. The most interesting place in that regard is the Shinshoji-temple, which has become a big focus point for Japanese people for some of the important religious dates, like New Year. You have to pass a narrow shopping street which still has some traditional feeling attached to it (despite the souvenir shops and similar stuff, of course) to get to the temple grounds. The temple itself was founded in 940, but some of the buildings are new and were built in the 1960s, they blend in very well, in my opinion. So I took a walk on the temple grounds and enjoyed the nice and calm atmosphere, before I had to return to the station to get to the airport in time. If you’re actually close to Narita or have to pick someone up, it’s a nice place to go to and only 15 minutes by foot from the station.

Picking up my brother at the airport proved to be easier than I had expected, as the airport was far less complex than I had imagined. The only weird thing was, that I even had to identify myself just for picking someone up… didn’t sit right with me somehow, but on the other hand there was no room for arguing with the checking person. It’s not like he made up the rule or something. Still… Well anyway, as I said, it was all easy and so we went back to Tokyo together to stay with the family of another friend of mine who I’ve gotten to know in Hamburg, Haruka. During our stay in Tokyo, we would be living in their house and be enjoying great hospitality 🙂 I don’t know, these positive experiences in our host family really helped to shape a really friendly and warm image of Japanese people, that I didn’t have to that extent before. Thank you very much, all of you! 🙂