In yesterday.s Tokyo Marathon day 1 blog post we finished up in Copenhagen airport. I will finish that story off before moving onto day 2.
I bumped into a guy I had been chatting to in one of the Tokyo Marathon Facebook groups, we got chatting whilst waiting for the flight and agreed to catch up when we got into Tokyo as we were both staying in hotels near to the start area.
The flight was ok, it felt every bit the 10:25. I didn’t manage to get any sleep, the seat was not comfortable enough for me but then I am not the best at sleeping on airplanes anyway.
We landed into Tokyo 15 mins early and I met up with Damien as we were disembarking Customs & Immigration was really easy and quick and the luggage made it from Manchester through Copenhagen and into Tokyo. Always a good start when you get your bags.
I had ordered a pocket WiFi from a company called Fox WiFi, they said it would be waiting for me at the Terminal 1 Post Office. I was expecting it to be missing but to my surprise, the lady was really helpful and found it for me. Having the pocket WiFi means that I now have internet access anywhere as long as I am in reach of the WiFi device.
Next up we tried our luck in a Starbucks and that went well today, we were on a roll BUT next up was the train system. the plan was to catch the N’ex train into Shinjuku and get a return ticket for Monday. The ticket buying process was a breeze, we found the train fairly quickly and boarded with no issues. All my worries had been about sorting this minor points out when we arrived. The N’ex rain was really clean and very spacious, probably more leg room in the standard coach as there is in our First Class back home.. It took us 80 mins to get from terminal 1 to ‘Shinjuku with a 4,000YEN return ticket.
We arrived at Shinjuku train station, which is actually the busiest rail station in the world and it felt it. It took us a little wandering around but we found the West Exit and made our way down to the Kieo Plaza where I was staying, I got there just in time for check-in which for me took 10 mins but by the time I was checked in the queue was out of the door.
I chucked my bags into the room, grabbed my passport and Marathon confirmation QR code and went over to the Hilton to get Damien checked-in. By now it was pouring down, we got soaked walking the 5 mins around to the Hilton.
The next plan of action was to hit the subway and get the expo done and out of the way early. Finding our way to the subway platform proved a little more tricky, in fact, every time I have left or entered Shinjuku station today it has been via a difference entrance/exit.
When we left the subway at Tokyo Teleport the rain was pouring down and the problem with the Tokyo Marathon expo is that its all outside in marques in a car park. This meant that the marques were really wet and starting to flood inside.
My overall impression of the expo was, it’s fairly good but if you are used to the big brash Abbott World Marathon Major expos of New York, Chicago or London then this is going to see very small and basic. The official merch was ok but nothing to write home about, I came out without buying anything. Although I did buy some Run Tokyo Nike gear before flying out to Japan. Whilst this ASICS gear wasn’t to my taste, it was still flying off the shelf with a lot of things selling out in S and M men’s sizes.
The weather was really putting a downer on things at the expo, I just wanted to get out and go back to my hotel for a warm shower. I was tired, jet-lagged and getting very wet.
On the train back to the hotel, we were both nodding off. Jetlag was taking hold. I had to stay up as late as possible today and wake fairly early tomorrow to put my body clock into the right routine to help for Sunday morning.
After leaving Damien at 5pm, I showered and unpacked my bag and headed out for something to eat. I wasn’t really hungry but knew I had to have something after not eating a proper meal since leaving home yesterday morning.
So I did what everyone does when they come to Japan and went to Shake Shack, something quick and easy and I know what I am getting.
After that, I had a little walk around Shinjuku as the rain had finally stopped, before getting back and writing this post at 10:30pm. I will sign off day two with some photos from my wander around Shinjuku.