Written on the 11.05.15 at 21:16 (+9 GMT) at 3 Chome-23-3 Minamidai
I caught breakfast just before 9.00am costing a whopping ¥1800 (around £11.00). The bastards. Taking advantage of the rather large platter of Japanese food on offering, and being one for embracing a foreign foods, I helped myself to a traditional breakfast so rich in flavour and intensity, that it was as if I’d reached some form of cuisine nirvana: Coco Pops and Toast. I then not only proceeded to discover nirvana but ascend beyond it by adding some kiwi and mango jam to my quintessential Japanese meal.
After achieving all of this by around 9.15, I trudged back upstairs running on that bitter coffee goodness which helped me to maintain a stream of concision thought.
The shuttle bus left MyStays at 09:40 back towards Haneda Airport, arriving at 10:00 with the plan being to catch the monorail from Tokyo’s central airport to Hammasmtsucho before snaking through the underground to my host family’s abode near Honancho station.
I was only waiting five minutes or so before the express arrived. Over the next ten minutes or so as I floated above the skyline below, I got my first glimpse of the Tokyo I’d had stored in my head for some time: a giant, endless expanse of concrete tendrils stretching out in every direction, tinted with specs of glass. Below me, was a wide, brown river channel and it’s offshoots, littered with the green trees which narrowed as they approached the cityscape.
Once at Hammamtsucho, I had to transfer to Daimon station. With my ability to read Japanese somewhat limited. a fumbled my way through to the station relying on my previous reconnaissance on Google Maps that my destination was somewhere outside.
Very exact, I know.
From Daimon, I took the Oedo line Narukae, changing on to Maranouchi, then arriving about 40 minutes later at my final destination: Honancho.
At around 12:10 after stood around looking like an extra from Lost in Translation I was greeted by a very warm “Adam?”. Turning around I was pleased to see the beaming face of my host Yoko, a homely woman a little shorter than myself standing at about 5ft 5in in her early 40’s. She lives with her husband Aki at my new home for the next 5 days, 10 minutes or so walk away, East of Honancho station.
On the walk to her home, we spoke of my journey and of Japan before arriving at their wonderful townhouse, tucked away neatly down a narrow side street. The house is split into three levels: downstairs, there was my room a bathroom and a utility room, upstairs, was a small kitchen with a large serving hatch which led into the lounge with a bedroom off to one side and a third floor with Yoko and Aki’s room and a third bedroom.
As is customary in Japan, when a visitor enters your home, you assign them a pair of slippers. Mine are a middle age beige reading ‘Carte de Gioco’- it can’t help noticing that it sounds like a ‘slipper tie in’ to Carte d’or.
I can assure you,dear reader, that they did not taste nice.