Japan - October 14th
Today was our last day on the island of Hokkaido and we were in the city of Sapporo. We needed to leave the hotel to get to the airport around 9:30AM so Kevin and I decided to venture out into the city by ourselves to do some quick sightseeing. We left the hotel at 6:30 AM and took the train into downtown. For the next 2 hours we did a pretty quick tour of downtown and all the sights there. We started at Sapporo Station where the local and regional trains arrive/depart and headed south back towards to hotel. We saw the former Hokkaido Government Office Building (picture at the left), the Clock Tower, Odori Park including the TV Tower, the Shopping Arcade and the Suskino neighborhood, known more for it's night life than early morning activity. We did all that walking and managed to get back to the hotel for a quick pack and shower and we all got on the bus for the long ride to the airport. Once there, Dave, Eurie, Kevin and I left on a flight to Tokyo while the rest of the family returned to Pusan in Korea.
The flight to Tokyo took a little more than an hour and we landed at the local airport, Haneda Airport, the one that is closer to downtown. From here we got our luggage and braved the Tokyo light rail and subway. Since Dave & Eurie were staying at a different hotel we parted ways for the day and agreed to meet up in the morning the following day. Our hotel was near Tokyo Station so we made it there to discover this train station is HUGE!
It's a labyrinth of trains, shops, busses, taxis, restaurants and everything in between. From where we got off the train to leaving the station, it took a good twenty minutes! To the left is a photo taken just outside of Tokyo Station and the huge crosswalk that's outside. Lots of people! Once we got situated in our hotel we headed out to explore the neighborhood and get something to eat. We had lunch at a small diner type place where you placed your order at the vending machine and the ladies in the back cooked it up for you. Pretty efficient if you ask me! After that we headed to the Ginza district to see the shops and madness of the area. Lots of money can be spent in this neighborhood! On our way back to the hotel is was time for a drink so we stopped at the British pub that was on the first floor of our hotel for their happy hour specials on beer. We would come to find out tomorrow that those beers were the cheapest around!
After a long day of traveling and exploring, we went to sleep in our tiny hotel room.