Day twenty-two – Nara to Tokyo

This was another one of those transit days. I was at least comforted that it was our last time switching cities. Our last time on a shinkansen.

To get from Nara to Tokyo we took three local trains from Nara to Kyoto, because the shinkansen doesn’t go there, and we got on the local which requires a transfer, and then we got on a regular local line and after a few stops the conductor suggested we switch to a rapid. Once in Kyoto we secured reserved seats on the Mt Fuji side of the shinkansen to Shinagawa station, Tokyo.

I tried to use the 2.5 hour trip to catch up on my physical travel journal, which is somewhat neglected because of this one but I’m still keeping it all the same. But once again I got motion sickness… I think maybe I’m too old now to shinkansen and write? I’ve never had trouble before, and I was sitting right at the window, so I don’t know what else it could have been. Staring out the window helped, and I saw a collection of neat things out the window…

  • a dirt path up a low hill into the forest, with a stone Torii gate on it
  • a toddler and parent meeting school kids on the raised path in the middle of a field. The toddler was running towards a kid with a school bag, who had crouched and opened their arms
  • a daring soul who had extended their balcony washing line out over the street, past the railings of their balcony (no one does this)
  • a woman who had just got off the train doing the ‘oh god do I have my glasses?’ panic dance, patting pockets, head, sides, and then finding them in her bag
  • Mt Fuji playing peekaboo


By the time we got to Tokyo I was feeling pretty wretchedly tired and over it all. Too much dragging suitcases, too much trains, too much feeling grimy from travel, etc etc.

We got a taxi from the station to Ariake, and the driver got lost a couple of times and I had that ‘oh god is he scamming the gaijin?’ but when he dropped us off he apologised profusely and took a third off the price of the fare, so I think he just genuinely didn’t know the area. Tokyo is so huge, it must be easy to have places you’ve just never gone before, even as a taxi driver.

Our hotel in Ariake was gigantic, it had a convention centre in it, two different restaurants, a big konbini and a package sending service. We had dinner at one of the restaurants, and made use of the giant bath in the room.

I got to the ‘overtired and emotional’ stage when I couldn’t get to sleep instantly, but thankfully Headspace for sleep sorted me out eventually.



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