Japan Trip: Day 0?

Hello friends! It’s been a while since my last post.

Today was my first day back at the office after a weeklong trip to Japan (which also included a couple of layovers in Vancouver and a very grueling travel time). I made some videos highlighting my trip, so please subscribe to my YouTube channel. 

Now, let me tell you about my trip.

I arrived in Tokyo 6 hours late. My connecting flight from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Haneda International Airport (HND) was delayed due to the typhoon Hagibis - which wreaked havoc in parts of Japan and caused all of the flights arriving on Saturday to be canceled, and flights arriving on Sunday to be delayed.

I was scheduled to arrive by 6pm on Sunday - which I had planned on doing the following:

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrive in Tokyo
  1. Get JR Pass activated and book train for Kyoto. 
  2. Get IC Card 
  3. Get pocket wifi 
Sadly, my plane landed a little after midnight - which was already too late to do anything on that list. The IC card kiosk and the JR office were already closed - not to mention that public transport stopped running at around midnight, and would not start again until 5 am. I was not about to spend $70 on a cab ride to my hotel, which was all the way in Shibuya, about 20+ miles away or 24 minutes by car. So I spent 5 hours at the airport, wandering around.

The good thing is that Haneda Airport's Terminal 3 has some impressive stuff  - like shops and restaurants designed like a mini Edo-Koji village. There was also a giant all-cypress Nihonbashi bridge and an observation deck (as seen in the video above).

Edo market. Most shops are closed.
Lots of sleeping people waiting for their flights.

Lovely lanterns at the Edo Market at Haneda Airport.

Sadly, many of the shops and restaurants were already closed, except for a ramen restaurant where I had my first meal in Japan.

My first meal in Japan.
Ramen from Setagaya. 

I was exhausted by the time the subway kiosk opened at 5:00 am. I got my Suica card and loaded it with 10,000 Yen ($100). The JR Train office, where I would activate my JR pass and reserve seats for my train ride to Kyoto, would not open until 6:30 am. I decided that I could do that some other time. I just wanted to take a shower and take a quick nap before my first planned activity: seeing the teamLab Borderless exhibit.

Then, as soon as I got on the subway train, a strap on my backpack broke.