We started our much anticipated Japan trip in the best way possible: missing our connection in Vienna, being rerouted to Paris then flying with ANA to Narita. It took about 6 hours longer than it should have and they managed to lose one of our bags in the process, but we made it.
Our first two days have been uneventful but rather pleasant. This is the first time either of us has been to Asakusa and we are both rather smitten by the atmosphere, little back streets and of course the shrine. On our walk back from Ueno yesterday we passed an apartment building from Showa 4 with amazing cracked walls and dark wooden balconies. It is quite inspiring to see architecture from this period, especially given that I now lecture on Taisho, early Showa Japan.
We also went to Akihabara to get a charger for Jo’s camera and took the opportunity to wander around the shops.The overriding impression is how hellishly expensive everything is! It is very strange being in a 120 yen to the pound Japan, it seems that we are getting a taste of what it was like to live here in the 1980s. However, we are taking the opportunity to exercise our setsuyaku （節約）muscles — major success of yesterday was obento for 290 yen each!
Finally, I bought my first book of the trip, かっこにっぽんじん by Tachibana Akira. It purports to be a rethinking of the nihonjinron in the age of globalisation and I look forward to seeing what this guy has to say….
Oh, SKY TREE!!!!