Thursday, April 9, 2009
9.A.M. this morning me, Jarmo and Kuutti arrived very jetlagged at Tokyo Narita airport. We cleared customs and started making our way to Kazo, a place just outside of Tokyo. Since this morning we have learned many things about Japan.
First of all in most places here I might as well speak Finnish in stead of English, because nobody understands anyway. Japanese people are really nice and helpful, but English just doesn't seem to be very widely spoken here. After traveling for 20 hours to come here, Jarmo decided that he wants to have a nice cultural experience at the McDonald's. Soon enough it turned out that "BigMac" or a "meal" where not words that any of the workers the could understand. To make things even more complicated all the menus where written only in Kanji characters and the photos where really different so you couldn't even just point out what you wanted.
Still hungry after a random burger we went to the local grocery store. The best way to describe it would be that it's pretty much similar to a western food store...after you take away everything and replace it with noodles, raw fish, tea and a whole bunch of stuff of what you have no idea what it is. Jarmo was stubborn and stayed on the western diet and bought only bananas and pepsi.
The train system in Tokyo is a bit complicated. Getting from the Narita airport to Kazo is really "easy", only three steps - on paper. In reality it was more of a mess, even the local people could not read the train maps properly. And the luggage we had was not making the job any easier. First of all we took the Keisei Skyliner to Ueno. That was maybe the easiest part. Then we had to walk to the JR Ueno Station - not a bad task either. Just followed the signs, a couple of U-turns and we were there. Then we were supposed to take the JR Utsunomiya line to the Kuki. We followed signs as we are accustomed to do and we found ourselves walking in circles - great. After asking some locals for help we finally got on the right train. At Kuki we changed to the metro (or train, or whatever) and after two stations arrived to Kazo.
This years first bouldering World Cup is in two days here in Kazo. After that we are staying here for a while and super syked to go bouldering.