We Made It!
We’ve arrived in Japan after months of waiting and processing and form filling out we are finally here and loving it.. minus the cold.. didn’t plan for the cold.
For our first day here the focus was on survival, that is, making from Terminal 2 in the airport to Terminal 1 to pick up our mobile phone cards and catch the bus to the city as well as maneuvering our luggage to our new apartment and then going shopping for essentials. I’m delighted to report we were successful on all counts without too much drama.
We are living in an area called Roppongi and in one of our forays outside yesterday we walked a large portion of it.
It’s incredible how many restaurants and shops there are, not sure what all of them serve or do as of course there is no English on the signage or the menus for several but the photos of the food on the boards outside looks great. We were also surprised to see so many ethnic foods available, lots of Italian restaurants as well as Turkish, French, German and even Mexican (yay!).
Our first stop was to find a grocery store and pick up a few essentials – the grocery stores seem quite small and the fruit and veggies are seriously expensive but pretty tempting nonetheless – perhaps it’s because they are all packaged. Trays of strawberries look amazing and are layered on a little plastic tray so you can see each individual berry and then wrapped in cellophane. Even the oranges look like little presents. The first one we popped into we bought a mini little round cake which turned out to have sweet (possibly red) beans inside, it was pretty good actually. Photo of me finishing my half and the package below:
We stopped at another supermarket on the way home which was a bit closer to pick up a few basics. This shopping was a bit more challenging, but after about 20 minutes we had found coffee and rice… that’s about it. We couldn’t identify anything that didn’t have pictures on it and even then with a well placed guess we weren’t sure if it needed to still be cooked or not. We settled on some tofu to go with our rice and found some sauce we think should work alright. At this rate we may be skeletal by the wedding.
We did go out to dinner though at a place called R Burger – which was really… different. We quite liked what we got but I’m not sure that there was much similarity to a regular burger minus the shape. I had Basil Chicken on a steamed rice bun (which are amazing and like eating fluffy air) and Luke had the R burger which I think was pork. Instead of chips/fries to go with it we voted for soup on the recommendation of the lovely man behind the counter who made life easy by helping us order in English. We decided it must be pumpkin and corn or something but either way it was great – particularly because we were FREEZING!!! Turns out Tokyo is cold in the winter!
In fact we were so cold that we had to have 2 showers (which are another blog post in themselves) and put the heater on 24. Still shivering we decided to go buy gloves and thermals after dinner. I slept in two pairs of pants and two tops with the heater on… I’m such a wuss when it comes to the cold these days. Must be that Australian citizenship – ruined by Queensland sunshine. J
In other news, we love our little apartment, emphasis on little, and are completely amazed at how efficiently the space is used. No seriously, my closet isn’t even as wide as my forearm is long. Somehow though, it fits all my clothes! That is, until our 9 boxes of possessions arrive next week. We’ve decided to problem solve that when we absolutely have to. Since this post is already super long, I’ll put the apartment tour in a separate one.
In summary this was a great day and we are already falling in love with the city despite the indimidation of the unknown substances on the grocery shelves, or the fact we can’t understand most of the signage or what anyone is saying. By the end of the day we had successfully used our 2 word Japanese vocabulary 5 times. This morning I google translated coffee (Kohi (pronounced ko-gee)) and so we’ll be adventuring out to get some now. Have a good day and wish us luck, today we’ll be trying out the trains!