On November 21st I packed my bag, met ED and we took the train to Tokyo. MacG had made everyone a great packet with our hostel reservations, highlighted maps and directions to the hostel so we felt confident in our ability to find our way. The rest of the group were on a SAS trip that day and would join us later that evening in Tokyo, so it was just ED and I for the day. We got to the train and stood in our line – the Japanese love keeping things in a nice neat order – and waited for the train. It wasn’t long before I heard the pleasant sounds of birds chirping overhead. After a while I realized that the birds I was hearing was actually a speaker with bird noises serving as a bird deterrent. Those clever Japanese!
Anyway- we made it to Tokyo and even with MacG's directions we some how seemed to get a bit lost but eventually figured it out- I was proud of us. We made it to our hostel where we had a 6 person private room for our group, dropped off our bags and went back out to explore. Walking through the busy streets of vendors and tour groups we happened to run into a former student of ED's from when he worked at Boston College a few years ago! She was in Japan with the JET program – an English teaching program. We sat with her and her friends for a bit while ED and she shared stories of the crazy days at BC.
ED and I had plans that night to meet another staff member who was on a SAS trip in Tokyo at his hotel and hit the town. With a bit of luck and a little help from some security guards at a construction site we finally found GH’s hotel and went to find some dinner. We tried to get something fast but the McDonalds wouldn’t take credit card so we went to TGIFridays. Fridays was a staple of my high school years and I can’t even remember that last time I had been there, so for the novelty and humor of it all I had to go. I was excited with the chance to get some nachos until they arrived. Four chips do not count as a plate of nachos. After the over priced dinner we got on the train and prepared for a long night out. The trains stop at midnight and don’t start again until 5am so we were out for the entire night.
We made the rounds of the bars, lounges and clubs where we danced the hours away. We met a few English speakers along the way who took us under their wing and showed us a good time. We met Damon, from Detroit who also came to Japan to work for the JET program 7 years ago and never left. As the night turned into day we stopped for a quick bite to eat before Damon got us back on the trains and finally around 7am we made it back to our hostel. ED and I tried our best to quietly enter the room where our travel companions were sleeping but the climbing into bunk beds proved to be a bit loud as they all woke up and we shared a brief recap of the evening before getting a few short hours of sleep.