The morning after the Kyoto concert, we took the Shinkansen, the bullet train, to Tokyo. While the train got us there much quicker than driving, it also didn’t have enough room for us to bring all our luggage on board, so we had to get up early and drop our luggage off by the front desk so that it could be loaded into a luggage truck and sent ahead of us. I was still quite tired after the previous night, so I brought my luggage down, then went right back to my room to get some more sleep.
I checked out of my room at 10 AM, and had breakfast in the hotel cafe. It was tasty, but also more expensive than I expected. Our bus to the train station didn’t arrive until 12, so I spent the free time watching the Patriots/Texans game with some of the other guys. I suppose I could have spent some more time wandering around our part of Kyoto before we left, but it had snowed almost six inches during the previous night, and the setting was much prettier viewed from the warmth of the hotel lobby, which had enormous windows to the street, than from outside.
Finally the bus came, and we waved goodbye to our friends from the Kyoto Glee Club who had come to see us off. Once we got to the station, we picked up some bento boxes for lunch, then waited for our train. There was a brief moment of confusion at this point. The snow had delayed our train, but it arrived earlier than the new, delayed predicted arrival time. Therefore, we rushed to group up and get up to the platform to board the train. The train ride was slow as we went from Kyoto to Nagoya, making our way through the snow. At times, we were going even slower than the traffic on the adjacent highway, and the bullet train seemed to be named more for its shape than for its speed. However, once we got past the weather, the train accelerated, and I felt as if I was riding a plane at ground level. As we passed trains going the opposite direction, the change in air pressure made the train car rock back and forth, and every time the train hit a downward slope, I felt my stomach drop a bit as we changed directions. I mostly slept and looked out the window during the train ride, but I also caught a brief glimpse of Mt. Fuji and read some more of Do Not Say We Have Nothing.
When we arrived in Tokyo, our travel agent met us on the platform and guided us to our buses for the twenty minute ride to Wakei-Juku, our home in Tokyo and former residence of the famous Japanese author Haruki Murakami while he was a student at Waseda University. We dropped our stuff in our rooms (we all had singles!), then went to the student center to eat dinner and mingle with the Waseda students living there. I was pretty tired after travelling, but the food was plentiful and good (roast beef, fried chicken, rice and noodles), and we sang a bit for them.
Finally, the party wrapped up and I retreated to my room to get some private time and sleep. Our schedule in Tokyo is packed, and I needed to get as much rest as I could.