Japan Day 15: Tokyo bound

I spent the majority of the morning packing up and writing. Today was my last day in Misawa, Scott and I are headed to Tokyo as soon as he gets back from school. Unfortunately Susan wont be able to join us in Tokyo, she has cheer leading stuff that she needs to do and it would mean she would pretty much just be able to spend one night in Tokyo with us and it just wouldn’t be worth the money. Getting to Tokyo on the Shinkansen isn’t exactly cheap, it’s about $150 each way but it sure is fast. I packed up and did some writing and before I knew it Scott was home.

Scott hadn’t packed yet so he quickly did that and we headed off to the train station. We had good timing with the trains, we didn’t have to wait long at all, but we did have enough time to pick up a handful of Chuhais for the ride down. Now there are two types of Chuhais, there are the ones that we have been drinking pretty much this entire trip and then there are what Scott refers to as the business man Chuhais. The normal Chuhais are usually 4-5% alcohol, the business men Chuhais are 8%. They sold the business men chuhais at the train station so those are what we picked up, we got four, two each. I hadn’t eaten anything all day so I also picked up a Snickers bar and some chips and other snack foods.

We had to take a normal train down to Hachinohe and then from there we would hop on the Shinkansen that would take us to Tokyo. We only had about a five minute wait for the normal train and the train ride down to Hachinohe is only about 17 minutes. Once there we got right on our Shinkansen and we were shortly on our way to Tokyo. The Shinkansen travels at speeds up to about 180mph and it takes about 3 hours to get from Hachinoe to Tokyo. I have some video from the Shinkansen so you can get some idea how fast these things are moving. Unfortunately, we were travelling at night so it’s dark outside and you can’t see quite so much.

Here is the first video. This should be able to give you some idea of how fast the trains are. If you watch it make sure you watch till the end to see the funny part.

Here is the second video. It’s rather long and probably kind of boring but it shows the train acclerating from a dead stop to full speed. It accelerates in the begining and then levels off and then at around 2:40 it accelerates again most likely up to top speed.

Scott and I had quite a few of the business man Chuhais on the way down. We bought four before we got on the train and then proceeded to buy another four while on the train. On a somewhat empty stomach and not really thinking that these Chuhais were twice the strength of the normal ones we got a bit saucy on the ride down. The details for the rest of the night are a bit fuzzy, I remember everything but details may be a bit lacking. From the Shinkansen we hopped on a subway to a stop closer to our hotel and from there we hopped in a cab to the hotel.

Scott was able to score us a great deal on a hotel in Tokyo. Hotels are not cheap here in Tokyo but the US military runs a hotel here that is only for military employees and it is really cheap. For both of us it was costing us $56 dollars a night for the room. The hotel is really nice too with everything you would expect in a hotel plus they had free internet in the rooms as well as English language television. We got really lucky with the hotel too, usually they are booked a year in advance. We initially called and were only able to reserve a room for Thursday night. We called right before we left and they informed us that they also had a room for us on Friday night as well, we don’t know about Saturday yet.

After we checked in we headed off to a Gaijin bar (foreigner bar) that Scott knew about. We didn’t stay there all that long, we were both feeling quite happy already and we both were pretty damn hungry. I did take a picutre of the place though. It was a nice enough place, we didn’t really stay long enough for me to really make an opinion of it, the beer was good.

From the Gaijin bar we headed off in search of food. I was starving by this point so I was willing to go to the first place that we saw. The first place we saw ended up being McDonalds. Now I really wish I had a picture to show you here because the guy that helped us had to have been the tallest man in Japan. He was seriously pushing seven feet, he was huge. Scott ordered the first round of food which we quickly consumed down. I went back to order us some more Chicken McNuggets, I wanted a six piece thing of nuggets and I tried to get that across to the giant. He rang me up and wanted something like 1,100 yen which is like eleven bucks. Now I know food is expensive here but that is ridiculous. Turns out he thought I was ordering six orders of six piece nuggets, why he thought I would want that many nuggets I am not sure, yes I could stand to lose some weight but come on. The giant finally did figure it out though and we got our tasty nuggets.

After that we just headed back to the hotel and promptly passed out.

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