September 26th 2019 and we had a two and a half hour journey to Tokyo from Kanazawa aboard the Shinkansen Hokuriku line. Knowing we were travelling during a meal time, we decided to buy bento boxes from the well stocked shop at the railway station. These lunch boxes came elaborately packed and with a variety of foods inside. I opted for a smart red and black box with matching chopsticks and inside were tasty morsels of rice, pickles seaweed salad and a couple of other things I didn’t recognise but which were delicious!
Richard’s box was called “The Samurai” and was larger but what was in it was anyone’s guess. I think I made the right choice!
The train – a super high speed Shinkansen was comfortable – we were in the Green Car – and scenery flashed past almost too quickly! My only comment overall about these high speed trains after travelling on them for almost 5 weeks, is that there are far too many tunnels!
Stations are clean and very well organised – with hostesses for the Deluxe and Green cars. On board snacks and drinks are sold from a trolley and cool towels are handed out at the start of your journey – which is a lovely touch.
Tokyo is easy to get around. The sprawling city can be accessed readily by public transport which runs very regularly and efficiently. We were staying in Shinjuku but managed to get around with our Suica transport cards allowing us to travel on buses and trains merely by swiping the card – and topping it up when credit ran low.
A modern city in many respects, I love how the old blends with the new.
There are a lot of parks and gardens and iconic structures such as the Tokyo Tower and the Skytree Tower.
Everywhere we went there were reminders of the World Cup Rugby being played all over Japan – that is why we were there after all.
And even at the Fish market – where we had THE most delicious lunch, we were promoting the rugby!
We attended an Australian Rugby Union function at Tokyo Bay – which was quite a long way from Shinjuku but we took the train and found that, the world over, people are the same and obsessed with their devices!
Tokyo Bay is close to Haneda airport – the old International Airport – with lovely views from the park close to the cruise terminal.
The function was prior to the game Australia v. Wales and was an opportunity to meet up with old friends, hear about the team and meet some new people along with delicious food and wine/beer. An ingenious way to refill beer glasses was a roving waiter with Heineken beer on tap…..
We were given a bag containing memorabilia and cheer aids – including these rather fetching “Happy Coats”
Then it was off to the Tokyo Stadium for the game – with a capacity crowd, of which around 40,000 were apparently Australians, the atmosphere was electric.
It was a good game but sadly we didn’t win this time. One win and one loss so far with two more games to go. Meanwhile we have more exploring to do!