We landed in the depths of summer, at 9:30 on a Wednesday morning to be greeted by 30 degree plus temperatures and insanely high humidity. We had both been to Japan during the summer before but I don’t think it is possible to prepare for the heat… or the fact that sweating is just a way of life from the moment you land to the moment you leave.
As always the first step when landing in Japan is to go sort out all JR train stuff at the airport, better than wasting time in the city finding the offices. We had booked 7 day rail passes which we had set to use for when we were travelling out of Tokyo. As we had money to spare we had booked a room in Tokyo for the entire duration, even though we would be spending nights elsewhere.
JR passes in hand and NEX tickets purchased it was time to head into Tokyo, and this time to stay in Jimbo-cho, a likely quiet area known predominantly for second hand book shops. The hotel we had booked into was the, rather unromantic but functional, Hotel Villa Fontaine Kudanshita. Much like any other business hotel in Tokyo the room was small but immaculate, breakfast was included, as was wi-fi. As a base of exploration this did nicely.
Check in was not until 3pm and we had managed to arrive at the hotel, laden with bags, by 12. After dropping off our luggage we walked back towards the Jimbocho metro station and popped into a small unassuming soba restaurant for our first Japanese meal.
The heat was unrelenting that day, a combination of a 15 hour journey from London, the heat and lack of food caused our hands and ankles to swell. This didn’t discourage us, we simply hopped on the metro to Ueno to spend a few hours in the park, before returning to the hotel for a much needed lie down.
The evening was spent trying not to fall asleep, in an effort to avoid jet leg. After a quick dinner at Denny’s next door we finally slept.