Departing SFO at 1:55 AM for an 11-hour flight with a team of 19 11 and 12 year olds is a recipe for disaster. What I can say, it was anything BUT that! By the end of the flight, one of the flight attendants handed one of our chaperones a hand written note thanking our group for being so well behaved and even gave us some treat for the road!
After landing in Tokyo, clearing customs and getting our bags, we boarded a bus for a days worth of sight seeing…mind you, it was 5:30 AM and the constant time-checks were endless!
From the airport, we headed for the famous fish market where we roamed the narrow roads to see all of the interesting street merchants who were selling the catch of the day! And now…it’s 7:15 AM and we were off to the Tokyo Sky Tree for some of the best views of ALL of Tokyo from over 600 meters in the air.
“Are we gonna eat soon?” “When’s lunch”? “I’m hungry!”
Well kids, when it’s only 10 AM, it’s hard to eat lunch. Instead, let’s see more of sights! So, off we went to Senso-Ji temple. There, experienced our first traditional temple including hand washing, incense-burning…SELFIES! In case you were wondering, the selfie stick is alive and well here in Japan!
11 AM, and it’s finally lunch time. The team tore through a delicious bento box of tempura, rice, vegies and chicken. I won’t say whom, but lunch also included an impressive food challenge, the first of potentially many of the trip!
The last stop before our check-in at the hotel was to the famous Shibuya crossing where the team broke up into small groups to join the organized chaos of…well…crossing the street!
OK…OK…NOW WE CAN CHECK IN!
Not wanting anyone to have a chance of falling asleep, we gave the group a mere 45 minutes after check in at the Metropolitan Hotel to freshen up before we were off again, this time to the Tokyo Dome for the Yomiuri Giants game vs. the DeNA Baystars. You would think that sitting in the bleachers with constant singing would keep our team awake…well, think again! By the 3rd inning, one could easily look down the isle to see heads down or nodding off to sleepy town. Most of us went back to the hotel, as enough was enough! We’d made it to 8 PM! BTW, Giants won 2-1!
Today, we are off to Hakone for more sights, including Mt. Fuji!