Rob and I went on an all-night walk through central Tokyo with a group of 51 people from ICU. The route was Odaiba (the man-made island in Tokyo Bay) through the city centre to the ICU campus in the suburbs to the West.
First we met Chihoko and two of her friends in Musashi Sakai (where we saw one of our teachers!) and then went to Odaiba (お台場) by train for dinner.
We ate at a cheap Italian restaurant chain called Sizeriya (サイゼリヤ) and ate lots of energy food!
Then we met up with the rest of the group at about 9.15pm and paid our Y500 towards the breakfast they were providing back at ICU.
We left at 9.45 and started walking towards the bridge to the mainland (well, as mainland as you can get in Japan).
After the twenty minute break we continued up past Tsukishima, where I went for a job interview last winter, towards Tsukiji and Ginza. And we passed the Sumida River, that I used to live on!
When we got to Tsukiji (築地), where the famous fish market is, another of Chihoko's friends joined us. It was about midnight at that point.
We walked past Sushi Zanmai, where I ate twice last year! It was such a nostalgic walk! Every turn was another memory!
After Tsukiji, the route led us to Ginza (銀座), an expensive fashionable shopping district in Chuo-ku (中央区), which is the ward I lived in last year!
We then crossed the second busiest pedestrian in the world, Ginza yon-choume (銀座四丁目). The Western-style building is a French department store called Printemps.
Here's a bit of nostalgia for British things!
How cute is this!?
It wouldn't be Japan without the random Shrines dotted around the city.
We then found ourselves right by Tokyo Tower! Well, "found ourselves" makes it sounds like it didn't take a lot of time, but it took over an hour.
We bought some food from a convenience store and sat down in Shiba Park (芝公園), which surrounds Tokyo Tower. It was about 1.30am and just before we sat down for our second break I felt really sick. A wave of tiredness hit me and I had to sit down and recover. I'm really weird and I do feel quite sick when I get tired, but I knew I had to move past it. I ate some onigiri (rice with fish in the middle wrapped in seaweed - they are my staple lunch at the moment) and drank some iced coffee. I realised that, although it was only 20C, it was quite sweaty and hard to breathe. Then I remembered I'd seen the weather forecast earlier that day - it was 98% humidity!
We passed right past it, and I remembered visiting last year.
Random dog statues beneath it...
The next area we walked through was Roppongi, the home of foreigners out for the evening, and many a sleazy bar and club, and non-sleazy ones too of course.
The TGI's where I had my birthday dinner with my family last Spring! Awww!!
After twenty minutes break, we got up and continued our, now trudging rather than walking, to Shinjuku to the north.
It was about 6am, following the same one road to ICU, when we all started to really feel it. I felt sick and sweaty and tired. Some of our group were really flagging and were seriously considering going to the nearest station and giving up. And, honestly, so was I. I felt awful!
Rob and I got the train home, and promptly went to bed at about 10am. We woke up at 5pm or so, and went out for a celebratory dinner with Chihoko and her friend in Kichijoji. I couldn't believe we'd done it!
And actually, several days later, I still can't really believe it. But I know I'm happy about it. Really really happy.
They might do it again next year, and Rob's really keen to do it for a second time. I think I'll have to see...