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Japan Day 1

I woke up, showered, and caught the free hotel shuttle back to the airport. Called the number on the phone at their unmanned desk, and they said a shuttle would be there in 20 minutes. Almost missed it because I was walking around trying to figure out where it was going to be. The language barrier is killing me haha. Picked up the car and headed out to the first stop of the day. It was already 10am, so I skipped a few things on the list and headed to the Meiji Shrine. First, I had to get used to driving on the left, and how the freeways were setup. I missed a couple exits because I was confused, and then finally started figuring it out. Google lagging a little bit didn’t help. Finally made it to the shrine. Parking on the streets is non-existent here. You must hunt for parking areas near wherever you want to go. Found one after driving in circles a few times. I walked to the Shrine, and it was widespread with different areas, like a garden, etc. Either I missed something, or it was just not that impressive to me. Drove across the Rainbow Bridge which was touted as something special. I think it is supposed to be lit up at night with colors. It was just a bridge. Not even as fancy as the Golden Gate Bridge, but like I said, it is supposed to look cool at night. It was getting close to noon, so I searched for a McDonalds nearby. I found one and got lucky with one of the few street parking spots, right in front of the shopping alley where it was (found out later those spots are for taxis and uber, ooppss). Took a while to order and get food. I ate and then headed to my next stop, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Again, ended up circling the block a few times because I kept missing the parking nearby haha. The museum was on floors 3 and 5 of this pretty big building. It had some cool things in it, but since everything was in Japanese, of course, it was hard to get involved in it. Headed from there to Tokyo Sea Life Park. Several things there that you could do, but I went to the aquarium. Standard aquarium like I have been to, except they had several exotic fish I have never seen before. Also took some pictures of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. I want to ride it. Maybe when I am back in Tokyo after Osaka. From there, I was trying to find the Zojo-ji Shrine, and after driving in circles a few times, I decided to park and go to the Tokyo Tower which was also in the same area. The elevator to the very top was sold out for the day, so I ended up going to the mid-section. It had a 360-degree view of the city which was pretty cool. Walked around inside the bottom, bought a souvenir, and decided to head back to the hotel. I was going to stop at the last McDonalds in line on the way back, but again, I would have had to hunt for a parking place and it was starting to drizzle. I arrived back at the hotel, and realized the spots right in front of the complex were just for taxis. How did I know you ask? I had downloaded an app that interprets Japanese writing by taking a picture with the camera. It is not completely accurate in a funny way, but close enough. Called the hotel to ask where I could park. Of course, the girl did not speak much English, so I finally got enough info to go to the parking place which was right on the other side of the building. I hope the car is still there in the morning as there was not a ticket. The gate just opened, but I think there was one of those parking machines outside the gate. I guess I will find out tomorrow.

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