We arrived in Tokyo half well rested half very tiered. Meaning Mat fell sound asleep on the plane after the first in flight movie for at least 7 hrs straigt. Me however, not quite so lucky, I slept for maybe 2-3 hours total. I was dead tiered but could for some reason not get to sleep.
We touched down at Narita airport at 9am local time. As soon as we made it through passport and immigration I paid a visit to the ladies room. I have heard all these stories of the high tech Japanese toilets and can confirm that they are all true. It took me a while to just figure out how to flush the toilet! And some toilets even have heated seats – now that is something I want at home!
When we got to our hotel we paid a little extra and got an early check in as I was about to pass out from sleep deprivation and would have been no fun to hang out with. I fell asleep in our room whilst Mat built up our bikes – bless him! Around 3pm our phone rang and it was Miko from Tokyo Bike Polo. We had been in touch with Riki earlier and he had arranged for her to come and pick us up at our hotel at 7pm and take us to meet with the rest of the Bike Polo crew. We went to Kanda area, which is the old business district, there was a maze of little streets full of restaurants and neon signs mixed with rice lamps. We went upstairs in this little building and entered a small restaurant where the rest of Tokyo Bike Polo were waiting for us. They were kind enough to order for us, which was lucky as the menu was all in Japanese. The meal was fantastic, we had a mixture of everything. Edamame beans – so much better then the ones at home, fresh wasabi, pickled cucumbers, vegetables, sushi of course – I can’t remember the names of the different types of fish but it was amazing, especially when you mixed in the ginger paste with the soy sauce, rather than wasabi paste like we normally do at home. That ginger paste is awesome! I want to buy some and take with me home, but I’ll probably lose it on the way! And then we also had a cooked fish, not sure what type, it was white meat and from quite a big fish and I can say that it was top 3 of the best fish I have ever tasted in my life! Cooked to perfection and full of flavour! Yum! We drank some great refreshing beer and had a saki tasting too! All in all it was the best welcome you could ever wish for – in fact we couldn’t even have dreamt of such a wonderful welcome! After dinner we were escorted back to our hotel, making sure we didn’t get lost, as the streets in Tokyo can be a bit of a maze.
We got back to the hotel, buzzing with that warm happy feeling of having a great time. We couldn’t believe our luck, having been so well looked after by people we didn’t even know, most of whom we’d never even met before.