Well it was either that or, "the Happiest Place on Earth", but that was already taken. My time in Japan was super short, but oh so sweet. First of all, let me give you a perfect example of why I adore this place. On my JAL flight from the States, my cabin crew went through the usual safety demonstration. Like a good girl, I read through the accompanying leaflet for further instructions. Not only was the safety video demonstrated in anime, but the leaflet was drawn in this manner too. It is amazing just how comforting and amusing it is to watch an anime man smoking in the toilets, then being covered in fire foam and a large red cross over his image. Somehow, it seems like a much more pleasant way to ask you to refrain from smoking than the usual, "Punishable by law" routine. The JAL cabin crew themselves were so beautifully groomed and well spoken, that by contrast the Qantas staff and their unflattering uniforms, (sorry people), seemed quite rough around the edges, and made me feel as though I had been downgraded for the flight home.
Anyway, I thought I was well prepared for my journey. The Mr had given me his copy of the subway maps, and explained how to work the system. I had booked my accommodation in Asakusa (thanks Hayley for the tip!), and it appeared to be only three train stops from the airport. So here I was thinking, "Perfect. I have quite a bit of luggage but it won't be far. I'll just jump on the train and walk across the road to the hotel." When I arrived however, it was dark and raining so I thought I'd cheat and take a cab. When I asked the cab driver for a price I was told it would be about $200 US dollars! What? Were cabs really that expensive here? So I dragged myself along to the information counter only to discover that what looked like a quick jaunt of three train stops, was actually a trip that took over one hour to complete! So it was onto the Limousine bus for $25 dollars with fingers crossed I could find my hotel.
Eventually I was to be found wandering a taxi rank at Tokyo station, hauling two suitcases (about 45 kilos worth) a hat box and a handbag, being soaked to the skin by the rain, but still smiling. I was in Japan! When I did eventually find myself a taxi, my poor cab driver was quite unclear about where I was going. Note to self: next time take the directions IN JAPANESE! I did have a minor moment of anxiety in the backseat, picturing myself sleeping under a self made lean to of suitcases while my prepaid hotel bed went empty. After arriving at the wrong hotel, it turned out that my taxi driver thought I must have the wrong hotel name. I had booked into the OAK hotel, (a hostel style accommodation as I was trying to save every penny for my shopping oddesy), but the driver had taken me to the Oakura Hotel as he thought I looked like I couldn't possibly be going to a hostel. But of course, like all good concierges at 5 star hotels, this one spoke some English and was able to assist with directions and sort out the misunderstanding. In hindsight, some very funny stuff.
A wall to wall shot of the room. Small but perfect.
So after all that adventure I was delighted with my little room complete with kimono and tea making kit. It didn't even matter that the bathroom was the same size of that on the plane. I was here, and so I settled in to sleep the sleep of the jet lagged, and dream of Hello Kitty.