It's 7:30am and I am currently sitting in the Shanghai Pudong Airport patiently waiting for my connecting flight to Tokyo. Surprisingly, I managed to sleep the entire plane ride (14 hours) from JFK to Shanghai. It was a red-eye so I literally passed out the second I sat down. I didn’t even wake up for the meals and now I am scarfing down a chicken caesar wrap I bought from Starbucks. Thank you corporate America.
I arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport. It’s 4pm on a Wednesday. I am absolutely giddy! Even though I was just in Tokyo less than a year ago. I always get super excited when I have the chance to come back. After going through customs and picking up my luggage, I take the Skyliner train into the city proper and then take the metro to meet my friend Kohei. Kohei is my friend from high school and he has so graciously offered to let me stay at his apartment while I’m in town.
I take the metro to Otemachi station and walk into the lobby of Morgan Stanley looking like a hot mess (20 plus hours of traveling will do that to you). I am greeted by Kohei, who gives me the keys to his apartment. We chat for a little but he has to get back to work and I desperately need to take a shower. Kohei heads back to work and I leave to take a taxi to his apartment in Akasaka. His apartment building is a very tall Manhattan-esque style condo. There are well over 50 floors and his apartment is on the 14th. It’s 6pm and I have just about 2 hours to get myself in proper shape to go out. I already made plans to meet up with my friend Talia and her boyfriend Blaise- both of whom are friends of mine from New York. Blaise has been living in South Korea for the past year teaching English and Talia is currently on vacation visiting him. They decided to come to Tokyo for holiday as well so it seemed only fitting that we hangout now that I have arrived!
8pm rolls around and I meet the two of them at a FamilyMart (a chain of convenience stores) right by Akasaka station. We stroll around the streets of Akasaka and then wander into the neighboring area of Roppongi, a neighborhood known for its large expat community and raucous nightlife. We have a nice quiet dinner and then go out for a few beers before we call it a night. My traveler’s exhaustion is finally settling. By the time I get back, I am so tired I sleep like a baby. I am in town for 9 days and I plan on taking full advantage of the short time I have.
Tomorrow will be a full day of socializing, but the next few days I will explore the fabric district of Tokyo, check out local kimono stores, take a day trip to Kawagoe (old Tokyo town), have a photoshoot, dress in formal kimono with my friend Anji, and so much more! Stay tuned! <3