Wednesday, November 9, 2016

lost in translation and the clock is ticking...

After that pit stop at Yodobashi Akiba, it was time again to move. I wanted to see Tokyo from the sky so I had two options: Tokyo Skytree (the tallest tower in the world) or Tokyo Tower (the second tallest structure in Japan). But before I could decide which one to visit, I had to find the train station first.

Finding a train station wasn't so hard; all I had to do was go outside Yodobashi Akiba. The problem was that there were two train stations. The JR line (the commuter rail service) and the Tokyo Metro (the rapid transit service) were both outside. I knew I wasn't supposed to take the JR line because I paid a one-day pass on the Tokyo Metro. But for the Tokyo Metro, I could only see the entrance to a different line, not that one I wanted to take. Oh well, I knew I could just go and catch the train there and then transfer at a station in which the two lines were adjacent to each other. That's basically how Krishna and I figured the Tokyo Metro on our first trip to the city. 

So, I took the train to where I thought I could catch the correct train to visit... the Tokyo Sky Tree. Emerging from the subway, I realised that the Metro station I was looking for was difficult to find. Again, I found a JR line station (it's quite prominent) quite easily enough. Why was the Metro station so hard to find?! Apple Maps wasn't very helpful because the street names were in Japanese while I was in Tokyo. Google Maps? Street names were also in Japanese. 

I am not kidding. And I was utterly lost. Why was my internal homing beacon not working? Oh, right! It's because I've never been to this part of Tokyo!

Anyway, I eventually found the correct train station (the Metro line that I was looking for). What made the search difficult was how to get to the station. Based on GPS and both Google and Apple Maps, I was literally in the station and I should be seeing it already. What the maps didn't say was that this station was smack under a building; what looked to me like a shopping mall. Or the map did say but I just wasn't able to read the text. All I saw was this:


Yes, I was already lost but I was still taking photos. Priorities, right?

I should have plenty of time to explore the Skytree; I just hope that I wouldn't be lost again when I'd arrived in the next station.