DeGarmo's Diary: Day 1 in Japan
7am-9am: Due to jet lag, most of us arrived on the earlier end of the 7am to 9am breakfast window. The buffet was a remarkable spread, and we enjoyed everything from from dumplings and noodles to French fries and French toast!
By 10am, we were en route via bus shuttle to the nearby Tokyo Metro Station. The intricate metro impressed even those of us in the group from NYC!
Three trains later and we were at the base of Tokyo Tower, the tallest free standing tower in the world! It beats the Eiffel Tower by about 42.5 feet. The first stop was the main deck (at 150 meters), leaving us in awe of the breathtaking, panoramic views of the expansive, concrete jungle below. Another hundred meters up (plus a couple more Yen) and we were at the top deck, where the views were even more outstanding.
At 2pm we stopped for the best Ramen I’ve ever had. I opted for the spicy bowl, level 3, while Kelsea tried level 8. Needless to say, level 3 left me sweating, panting, and with completely cleared sinuses, while Kelsea barely batted an eyelash at level 8. Honestly, no shame!
We walked off our lunches perusing the shops on Nakamise Shopping Street and the surrounding streets, in search souvenirs and taking in the bustling marketplace. I don’t think anyone bought anything today, but some of the most popular options were chopsticks and ceramics. I know I hope to leave with a nice pair of chopsticks!
We rounded out the afternoon walking around the temples, with the Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, as the main spectacle. Many of us spent 100 Yen for an Omikuji fortune. We received the best, regular, and bad fortunes, the latter of which were to be tied up (an action known as "kami wo musubu" around iron rods and left at the temple.
From 6pm - 9pm we had the first ever WPLL draft camp with 60 incredible, young Japanese women. Jet lag was hitting us hard by the time the camp started but, and I know I can speak for all of us when I say, their energy brought us back to life. So much talent was displayed over the three hours and the excitement that the players brought was contagious. At some point during the last 15 minutes, we were surprised by fireworks from the nearby Tokyo Disneyland. What a great way to end an amazing first day!