Friday 15th: Arriving in Tokyo
Arriving in Tokyo’s Haneda airport was an exciting and surreal moment. As a group we had been anticipating this tour for so long, making it both wonderful and unbelievable to have finally arrived in the beautiful and busy city of Tokyo. It was also exciting to put into practise our Japanese language skills in a fully immersed environment.
We wasted no time in starting our adventure beginning by taking the monorail from the airport to Hamamatsucho. Here we saw what Japan and it’s culture is all about - traditional oriental experience with sharp bursts of western influence. Right behind a gorgeous shrine sat a 330m tall take on the French Eiffel Tower - the Tokyo Tower (A symbol of Japan’s unique identity as it accepts western influence while staying true to their individuality and traditions). We toured the tower for a couple of hours, embracing the 360 degree view of a large and bustling city.
After lunch here, we visited Ueno Zoo via the fast-paced Tokyo Subway. Ueno Zoo has a remarkable range of animals including some the majority of teachers and students had never seen before in real life - the panda bears (when they actually faced us), the polar bears and the flamingos. After half a day of flying and a day of sightseeing we jumped right into the cultural experience at the Juraka Restaurant just a few minutes walk from our hotel. With full stomachs, we briefly wandered through the markets before returning to the hotel for a much deserved rest.