My usual day in Tokyo

∼March 22, 2012∼

Let me talk a bit about my usual day in Japan. For those who don't know, I work as an aupair which is basically a nanny, but I just happen to live with the family in a country different from my own which is Japan.
If no one minds, I will start all over because I find it difficult to blog about something a few weeks ago and then just jump into something new.

So on the 11th March I took the plane to Japan. I started in Denmark and switched flights to Frankfurt and the Beijing and THEN Tokyo Narita Airport. I remember I was extremely tired because I did not sleep much. Much of the time, I was too tired to bother to look out, but I looked out once when we flew over Russia to get to Beijing and what a beautiful sight. 

I regret not taking many pictures of the insides of Narita airport because they have pictures where they welcome to Japan. It's a bit cliched some of them where you have the cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji, but pretty nonetheless. The airport is very clean as expected and people were very polite as well.

For those who are like me; working or just traveling to Japan. You need to know that when you arrive to Japan you need to fill in two different forms. One form is explaining the purpose of your trip, where you will be staying etc. etc. and then the other one is a tax report. It's not a biggie, but you have to fill those in otherwise they won't let you through. They will also search your bag for any illegal items so they ask you to open your luggage. so yeah they will see your stuff in the luggage fyi. After that you're free to go wherever you are supposed to be.

I met the father of the host family and then we took the train which was 4 hours long. If you're going to Japan and wondering why the train to Tokyo takes a long time, then I will tell you. NARITA airport is ridiculously places faraway from everything and yes it's normal and yes people wonder why it's placed where it's placed. They have created another closer airport if you don't like NARITA. 

So yeah, with the train he showed me the way to their family's house: 
It's in a area called Setaya-ku which is a very calm and nice place. 

It's not like big malls and such here, but lots of restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets and such. It's not a big shopping place, but very nice and cosy place which I like. I'm not really into fast and busy all the time.

I can see a little of the city from my room because I have veranda. You mostly see like other buildings. There is no fancy buildings or houses here, but very cluttered high houses next to each other.

It is weird when you try to adjust to a new country, but what happened to me was that I just needed a bit of time to get used to everything and how everybody is. Now I'm just normal, but in the beginning I was sort of nervous because I wasn't sure what is normal over here. Now that I'm a little more used to life here and I got a schedule made out, everything is a little easier. Especially the trains which Japanese people use a lot!

My schedule is somewhat simple, but fairly unpredictable at times.
I wake up at 6.30 and I watch out for this cute, but devilish baby girl:

I start of by changing her diapers (#1) and then she plays and I get her to sleep at around 8AM. When she wakes up I change her diapers again (#2) and then I prepare her food and make her play. When it's 11AM or earlier, I change her clothes and diapers (#3) and we head out to a different area which is called Roppongi where I have an errand. I suit her up and hopefully she sleeps on her way over there. At 12AM I eat lunch which I buy in Roppongi Hills which is where my errand is located.

Roppongi Hills is right above the station and it's this huge fat building:

It's known for it's shops and restaurants, but it is also a working place for many Japanese and foreigners. So you will see a lot of business men as well as tourists from all over the world. In the building itself it has a lot of classy restaurants, but you can go to like café like Starbucks (which is super popular in Japan) in the LOWER-LOBBY which is the 1st floor or another coffee sandwich place on the UPPER-LOBBY which is the 2nd floor. There are lots of other restaurants this place because it's right beside the station. Lots of restaurants you can try! Or you can go to McDonald's if you're into that. I usually eat at this lunch place which is not a chain store at 5th floor which does tasty lunch boxes. Sometimes I grab a sandwich at Starbucks depending on my mood. Today I had something my host family had bought:

FYI lunch sets in Japan are fairly huge! so you will become full. This bento is a special one and is the small size.

Also if you think that Roppongi Hills is hard to differentiate from all the other countless buildings then think again. This building is so easily recognized as this building has a huge (and disgusting) spider, MAMAN, sculpture in front of the building.

You can NOT miss this thing. If someone is saying that they are meeting you in Roppongi Hills, it's most likely by the spider. If you notice, this is not the only interesting thing about Roppongi Hills. Near here is a lot of other stuff, but it's also here where you get a very good view of other things. In the background you can see two other very prominent sculptures which is a ROSE in the middle of a beautiful decorated garden. In front of that you can also see Roppongi Garden:

 You can also see TOKYO TOWER.

I sometimes just walk around Roppongi Hills by lunch time, but when it's around 1:30PM I head home again. I change her diaper (#4) and then I make her eat again. I let her play and then I make her take her nap. When she wakes up, I change her diaper (#5) and we head out again to Roppongi at around 4:20PM and we go home at 5:30PM. I'm usually off by 5PM to 6PM. Depending on the day and situation.

It's hard work, but I think it's worth it. 
My host family is nice and I'm growing a lot as an independent person.

After I'm finished with work, I can do whatever I want as long as I can wake up in the morning.
I've been to a lot of places lately, but since I've been talking about Roppongi, I might as well continue.

In Roppongi, you will see a lot of foreigners and tourists. When it's day everything is very casual, but when it's night everything changes. People go out and you see that the night life is a very important aspect of Roppongi. People from different clubs will hand you fliers and even try to lure you into their club. It's very normal there, but I didn't really go to those places though. Just recently I had the chance to take pictures of Roppongi so here's some night pictures of Roppongi as well as night view of Roppongi from Tokyo Tower.

I went up to the Tower with some girls I befriended over there.
The tickets are rather expensive. It's about 1.200yen for 150m view and an additional 600yen for the 250m view. It's amazing view though so I don't regret it. If you're going, I might suggest that you guys SKIP the 250m view because it didn't make that much a difference, but then again. 600yen is nothing.

150m view:
In Tokyo where everything is lit up, you can't see the stars. So I guess it's sort of like light pollution since the lights are preventing us from seeing the stars' shine. Also if you wondering about the countless of red lights, it's a light to prevent planes to crash into them. It's only on high buildings.

I bought a ticket to see the 250m as well and it was also very pretty.

You can see a lot more from there. It's quite amazing and scary though. 

Outside the Tokyo Tower there is a SMOKING AREA which is very common here. Japan is VERY strict about smoking. If anything done wrong, you can get a FINE/TICKET! Smokers can't just smoke wherever they want to smoke. They have to smoke at a specific area which is a hassle for them, but good for us. They aren't allowed to smoke and walk at the same time either. Two reasons for that is that it's dangerous for the people around the smokers, but also kids can inhale the smoke because when you walk with a cigarette the height of the grabbed cigarette is close to the height of a child. It's a hassle for smokers, but hey. At least the smokes are cheap as dirt. Smoke away! Japanese people follow these really well.

I haven't been around Roppongi too much, but I have plenty of time to explore as I am there like everyday!
One of the places I ate at in Roppongi was Jasmine Tea which was a really nice Thai restaurant and also a Chinese one placed near the Roppongi Hills. It specializes in dumplings. These were my first food pictures actually :)

The last picture is the dumpling I was talking about. You take the dumpling, place it on the spoon, prick a hole in it, drink the soup that floods around and the take some ginger and dip the dumpling into the soya sauce while eating a bit of ginger. They have instructions on the table, but I was too lazy to take a picture!

I am signing off now. I am too tired and it's too late now! See you.
Will be updating more about DO's and DON'Ts and such.

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