We arrived in tokyo tired and dissillusioned as to the randomness to the whole place. Just inside the airport was a culture shock. I felt alienated being a westener in japan (duh?) but i was too tired to care much. We made our way to an internet cafe as i'd forgotten how to get to our place of stay (YADOYA Intl. Guesthouse). We had to get the keisei sky liner to nippori, then change to the yamanote line, then finally onto the JR Chuo line to Nakano station. This took us about an hour and a half as Narita is 60km from tokyo itself. We checked into the guesthouse with a bit of a mission as the office was not close to our actual dorms. Anyways, total cost was about £8 a night. so BARGIN accomodation for an excellent reason :/ as we walked in, the room was TINY, maybe 12ft by 14ft at MOST and this had two bunk beds and a bed on the floor where a japanese local who was staying was fast asleep. It really was abismal so we decided to go and find another hotel to stay in.
Here is chris outside the office poking what looks like his 1dMkII and 100mm Macro...
We ended up in the hilton tokyo which is located in Shinjuku...
Northeast of the station lies Kabukicho, Japan's largest and wildest red light district, while department stores, subterranean malls and electronic shops surround Shinjuku Station on all four sides, including the recently redeveloped south, where the pleasant Southern Terrace is located.
We picked shinjuku for the reason(s) above . It was just hustle and bustle all over. Shinjuku is japans busiest train station, served by 12 different lines, apparently 2.5 million people pass through the station every single DAY! The hilton was an EXCELLENT hotel, it was a four star luxury and compared to the guest hotel was stunning!
We crashed out in the hotel for about an hour, i was really starting to loose my mind from sleep deprevation so this was a lovely rest to charge my batteries. I awoke feeling worse than when I went to sleep but a refreshing shower woke me up fully and I felt fine again. I threw some clothes on and we all went exploring. we walked round for a while, and found some camera shops...
and played on the games machines which were very cheap compared to the UK... I stuck quite a few yen into "Time Crisis III" with chris on multiplayer
we went looking for dinner around the shinjuku district and look what we came across...! (This one is for AdamW)
We ended up in all places... yup! an english bar!!! Its typical of the english, we fly half way round the world and all we eat is food we can get round the corner!!!
I decided to push the boat out and went for pork skewers and chips however the pork skewers werent all that nice but the chips were good. here is our group shot!
we all drank beer untill about 9pm. James and dale went back to the hotel to sleep, on the other hand, me and chris decided to go and get Sh@t faced! We walked round the red light district but we were too sober to go in for the strip clubs at such an early hour. so more beer in a rock bar was to be enjoyed. I nearly choaked on it when I realised the price... 800 YEN! thats $8 for a coke-cola sized can of asahi!!!!! Stupid price, but the beer was nice and the bar tender even nicer ... The next club we went onto was "The Loose Bar" they were advertising drinks for 250 yen and free entry so BARGIN! it was a bit of a let down to begin with, but as the beer flowed, it got better!
I was challenged to a game of darts which i had my arse kicked at... (read let them win)
Obviously i had to repay with drinks...
After a few more beers I got my chat on with a lovely girl. God knows her name but she was about 5' 5" and had a fantastic body...
Sometime later, i went to find chris....
And got a group photo!
Remember that i'm piecing the night out together from these photos... I cant really remember much of what happened between these photos...
On the way home randomly, we ended up with a red flag. I think the story goes, we were walking past a takeaway in shinkuku and they had closed, yet being the drunk people we were, all of a sudden this red flag jumped from its stand into chris's hands... LoL!!!
Chris got severly injured trying to parkour the concrete tokyo terrain, He tried to hand plant the wall, yet ended up face planting the ground... and we also noticed that the sun began to rise. Boy this was a LOOOOONG night... haha!
So the next morning we awoke to go out into tokyo itself. I was absolutly monged out of my face... I was walking round and really didnt feel too good... I had a shower which seemed to perk me up a bit but i was still not 100%
We gathered outside the hotel and discussed photographer details...
How you feeling chris?
Our first port of call was the canon professional services shop near Shinjuku Park. Dale got a bit carried away with the speed of the 1DmkII shutter and we literally had to drag him out kicking and screaming... He also managed to smudge the glass on their lense cabinet and to be honest, I cant exactly blame him... Haha!
The transport system in tokyo is excellent! The trains were clean and air conditioned. Infact, i didnt see a single piece of litter the whole time I was there. Its supprising how much you notice things like that. Our destination today was to the Sony Store in Ginza. We had heard you could purchse PSP's from there and it would always be good to say you have been to their main tokyo store. I loved every inch of that place. from the BMW one series on the first floor to the 78 inch flatron plasma screen on the 8th floor... it was all fantastic! Not too expensive for what you could buy. I noticed quite alot of technology which we wont get in the UK for at least 3 years!
I got a new set of headphones which are fantastic and cost me about 40% less than I would pay for them in the UK and the sound quality is excellent with my iPod!
An example of JR East tokyo trains... This taken at shinjuku
it was so good on the way to the station, all chris could do was sing and dance...
And the alternate angle...
After a few hours in ginza, we stumbled back to the hotel to catch up on some sleep. Dinner was at macdonalds outside central shinjuku. It seemed no matter how much I moaned about wanting to try japanese food, we always ate american... Grrr! lol!
One thing i really enjoyed about japan was the gorgeous women that we were constantly surrounded by. I managed to grab this shot on our way home from ginza...
We went back to the hotel but i couldnt sleep so night photography was our next activity... The wind was blowing a gale which played havoc with my tripod and this is the sharpest photo that came out...
This was taken in the metal hilton sign...
Our last whole day in narita was great. The weather was fantastic! We noticed we could get to the observatory in a tall building near the hotel up to the 42 floor was fantastic!
After this we missioned it all the way out to Haneda for an intense afternoon of shooting...
Photo © James Rowson
Photo © James Rowson
Photo © Dale Coleman
Photo © Dale Coleman
Unfortunatly, me and chris haven't uploaded anything yet
**Points & Shouts** SPOTTER GEEK!!!!!
And Where's Wally?
Lovely finger work by chris..
But at the end of it all, after all is said and done... We were pretty much F00KED!
I'll close thanking Chris "I own a 1dmkII" Sharps
Dale "Mini-Dan" Coleman
and last but by no means least, James "Jimbob" Rowson
Thanks for such an awsome few days in tokyo... Its nearly bankrupted me this month, but i would still have gone even if I knew it would make me this skint. I strongly reccomend tokyo to EVERYONE its a fantastic city and the people are SO nice. I hope you enjoyed reading this final part of my report. Some of these photos i'll treasure forever! lol!