As mentioned in my previous brief blog, I have returned from my Tokyo trip and whilst it is great to be home with my family, it has not taken long for that holiday shine to dull. The normality of everyday life as a single dad with three kids has reasserted itself as the dominant focus for me. And to top it off my youngest little guy is sick with the flu. Whilst I was away my older two kids stayed home and looked after the house and cared for the cats.  They did a great job too. I even came home to discover they had done washing!

I have also spent the past week editing photos when I have time to myself. Mostly at night. But the process has been really rewarding. You may recall in my last blog that I have over 6,000 photos taken during my 6 days in Tokyo. And that I am working through not only the editing process but also considering options on how to present my work other than through social media. Well, a week on and I have made significant progress in the editing of these images and as I have moved through the collection, ideas about what images I want to use in blogs, themes for blogs, images to physically print at large scale and much more have become clearer.  It is like the images and my adventures in Tokyo are guiding my decisions.

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As with my 2016 trip to Japan, where I travelled to Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, I wrote home to my family every day to give them an idea of what I am up to and what I have experienced. So, as before, I will share those updates in a series of blogs over the coming weeks. And I have many more blogs planned about specific experiences whilst in Tokyo. So many people I know are about to, or are soon hoping to, travel to Japan. So I have often shared these blogs with people to aid their travel plans.

The below is the first email home from Tokyo.  I wrote this email on the morning of Sunday 13th August to reflect upon the previous day – which happened to be my Birthday – where I pretty much spent the whole day travelling.   I wrote this email whilst eating breakfast at the restaurant on the 27th floor of my hotel. The view, as seen in the photo, was of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

13 August 2013

Good morning family and Konichiwa from Tokyo, Japan.

Wow yesterday was a long day! After a fitful night with almost no sleep my day began at 4am at the airport. A purposeful early arrival at the airport amid new security measures. At that time of day my caution was unnecessary and i breezed through to my gate. A quick hop to the Gold Coast before the longer 9 hour flight to Narita, Tokyo.

Arrived in Tokyo at 6:30pm local time. I was lucky to meet a Brisbane couple on the plane and we talked a lot about traveling to Japan (this was their second trip). We navigated the airport and also journeyed together on the NEX – the Narita Express train that travels between the airport and Tokyo.

So when you add in all the lost time at airports and the train ride I didn’t get into Shinjuku until 10pm. By then I was very tired and hungry. I travelled through the cavernous tunnels of Shinjuku station. And when I say cavernous I am not joking. A snaking network of underground walkways ferrying thousands of travellers away from the core of the station to exit points, underground shopping areas and a number of department stores.

I had a few minutes of severe disorientation as I could not even determine what level I was on or what direction I was heading. I finally surfaced into a sea of people and jumped into a taxi for the final leg.

My room is very nice and clean and the staff are so very helpful. I ducked down to one of the hotel bars for a beer and a bite before a long hot soak in the tub in my room.

So here I am. In Tokyo. Preparing to start my first full day.

I hope that you are all well.

Please give my monkeys a kiss and a hug.

Love you all

G

So I spent pretty much my entire Birthday travelling to Tokyo.  Not a bad Birthday at all. By this point, I had not taken my Fujifilm cameras out of my camera bag at all – so this post doesn’t have many photos at all. Even the slightly dizzying journey from the airport to the hotel in Shinjuku, didn’t inspire me to take out my camera as I was lugging a case and was very tired. I grabbed a couple of snaps using my iPhone but that was about it. Upon arrival in Tokyo the weather was hot – around 27 degrees celsius – and the humidity was high and quite intense after leaving a very fresh and cold Melbourne.  The weather was pretty much the same on the morning of sending this email. And it was sunny too.

I finished my breakfast, grabbed my camera gear for the day and made my way out into the streets of Shinjuku and whatever adventures Tokyo had in store for me.