I strangely feel so comfortable and familiar here. Everyone is so friendly and courteous towards one another it is very refreshing- even on the roads! Next time I come to Japan however I will not be flying Jetstar. Take my advice and fly with someone else for comfort, even if you got a dirt cheap sale fare like I did. Not only do they bloody make you pay extra for everything anyways (food on a 9hr flight, entertainment, baggage, sitting alongside your partner, etc), but I didn't realise Narita Airport was 1.5 hours outside of Tokyo so it was a pain getting to our hotel. We had a bus transfer to our hotel, but we arrived after the last bus was scheduled, so we could only get dropped at Tokyo Station. We ended up just catching a cab with a driver instead of catching the train that spoke absolutely no English, so pointing to Google maps on our phones was fun haha.
You can pretty much get by on knowing three phrases in Japanese (yes, thank you & excuse me) as most Japanese people know most basic English keywords (okay, except for the cab drivers). Just use hand signals/google translate app for everything else. Another key word you must learn though is "ume-shu" which means plum wine. It's drunk either: diluted with water (bad option) or 'on the rocks' (good option). I have had many thus far ;)
We are staying in Park Hotel Tokyo which is literally right above a train station and is so handy (especially if it's raining!). It's only a 15 min walk from Ginza which is a fancy shopping district with mostly high end shops. We ventured to find food on our first night in (around 10:30pm) as we hadn't eaten in 12 hours (stupid Jetstar) and found a small noodle shop filled with business men. We had the best pork katsudon rice box ever. It was so worth the windy walk, which we later found out was due to an impending typhoon. Another thing I love about Japan... everything is open late!!
For our first real day in Japan we went to Akihabara (electronics district) and the Imperial East Gardens. The gardens were alright.. because we missed the Sakura blossoming, it's just really a lot of open space, large stone walls and uninteresting plants. Akihabara was awesome though. We went to Sega Arcade and played Mario Kart in an actual racing car, checked out collectable Manga in Mandrake and all the other awesome shops - one which sold retro console games! They say you must go to a maid cafe (kawaii girls dressed up in maid outfits), but we found the concept kinda creepy so we steered away.
We headed back to Ginza for dinner and I mistakenly let my boyfriend choose where to go for dinner (jokes, but srsly). We yolo'd it and ended up in some BBQ place, which turned out to be called 'The Sheep Store' and only served varieties of BBQ lamb.. so random, but it was delicious. We were given English menus because we must have looked retarded taking photos of the menu for Google Translate haha. Most places have an English menu which is cool.
Day two was our Mt. Fuji tour! We were suuuper lucky with the weather. It was raining/typhooning the day before, leaving it crystal clear for our tour day. It is apparently very rare to have a clear vision of Mt.Fuji from a distance so we were super appreciative. It was a 1.5 hour drive to get to the "5th station" on the mountain where it was bloody freezing! I would say about 15 degrees, but with the wind chill it was more like 10 degrees max. I had only 2 layers on wahh. For the sake of taking photos, we forced ourselves to acclimatise. There were still a few cherry blossoms left on the mountain which was cool. The station had a large shop, a restaurant and chill out zone. It's basically just a very large tourist stop with a giant carpark for the buses. The majority of people on our tour were Americans and no offence to anyone, but I still haven't met a non-obnoxious American holidayer.
After the 5th station we had a beautiful, traditional Japanese lunch overlooking Mt.Fuji at a random, nice hotel, then made our way to Lake Kawaguchi for a cruise. It is the second largest lake of the Fuji five lakes. After this, we visited Hakone (a small town near Mt.Fuji) and our last stop was a beautiful shrine which I can't remember the name of, but it had awesome moss growing everywhere.
... and that's it for now. I will try to keep updating you guys with more of my Japan trip! Tomorrow/today is our World Heritage Tour which I must now sleep for! Outfit posts from Japan with my Harajuku shopping still to come too :D