Friday, March 30, 2012

Tokyo! Part 1: Asakusa and the hostel

Asakusa(yellow horn from Asahi biru)
Sooooo I've finally done it! I've made countless plans that didn't fall through, but this spring break I finally managed to visit Tokyo.
I took a night bus both ways... I know I didn't get to experience the shinkansen(bullet train), but it was so cheap! Like, less than 4000yen each way cheap. I thought I could be productive and study or read on the way, but I soon realized that night buses are for SLEEPING. Seriously, don't plan on doing much else on one. But anyway, after about 10 hours of being on a bus, we finally arrived at Tokyo Disney. Random. It was not particularly close to our hostel and we did not actually go to the park. But we took full advantage of arriving there and bought a lot of Disney stuff from the gift store! We are such tourists >_>
Anyway, when we arrived at the station, we were confused and exhausted. We ended up riding the loop line from the wrong direction until it looped around to our destination... which took longer than an hour, but none of us had enough energy to transfer trains, which would have saved a lot of time.

A note about the weather in Tokyo: when we arrived in mid March it was cold and rainy. It rained for about 2 days and never got much warmer than 50 degrees. We didn't pick the best time to travel, but oh well.しょうがない... 
Sensouji at night
We stayed in a hostel in Asakusa, which seems to be a popular place for travelers. Its near the Yamanote line, which means it's pretty close to all of the major places like Akihabara, Shibuya,  Harajuku, Shinjuku and Tokyo station. Our hostel was conveniently located next to a 100 yen Lawson's, which meant I ate cheap bread products for most of my meals. Needless to say, it wasn't the healthiest of trips...
About Asakusa: It is pretty boring. No offense. I mean, it's pretty enough. It's got the Asahi Beer headquarters, a shopping district, and a really pretty temple(Sensouji) which lights up at night. But, like a lot of Japan, everything closes really early and it was pretty uneventful. 
And about hostels... Yeah. Um, we didn't have the greatest of experiences. I went with a group of 2 other girls and 3 guys. The three of us girls got a 4 person room, so they threw someone random in with us each night. And just our luck, we kept getting sketch old guys. One of them, who stayed for a couple of nights, walked in and stripped to his boxers right in front of us. Weird! But all things considered, there was internet(for the most part), a lounge, and some cool people. We were thankful to get back to our warm beds in Sem house, but it wasn't torture in the hostel. Especially not after we found a nearby bath house...

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