The morning after our wedding, we left Edmonton to fly to Toky0 (via Vancouver). In all, it was well over eleven hours of flight, with a two hour layover in Vancouver. Upon arrival, I was surprised at the simplicity of Narita airport. Presumably, the Haneda airport must be the nicer of the two in Tokyo. We got our Narita express tickets, validated our Japan Rail Pass, and got on the train to get to the Shinagawa Station and try to find the shuttle to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari. Unable to locate the shuttle, we got into a taxi and made our way to the Onsen – a really generous and thoughtful gift that our good friends Chris and Reesa bought for us as a honeymoon gift.
The Onsen itself was colourful, almost an anime theme to it, and we were really happy to change into our yukatas and drop off our stuff in the hotel room. The food was delicious – sashimi and ramen were our first meals in Japan. The highlights were the outdoor foot-soaking ponds and the first time in an onsen. Initially, it was awkward being bathing nude in separate-sexes public bathes, but since it was a norm and custom, it was easy to relax and enjoy the hot springs. A great way to relax after a long flight.
The next day, we enjoyed the onsen and breakfast, before hastily finding accommodation on Oshima (one of the Izu Tokyo islands). Taking a cab to the Takeshiba Pier, we were able to get ferry tickets for later in the day to get to Oshima. With some time, we stored our backpacks in a locker at the pier, walked over the famous Tsukiji Fish Market (the biggest in the world). We enjoyed some amazing mochi and sashimi. What a delight – so fresh and soft.
After the market, we enjoyed the Hamarikyu Gardens. It is a landscaped garden that surrounds the Shioiri Pond. The park itself is encompassed by a seawater moat filled by Tokyo Bay. It was remodeled as a public garden park on the site of a villa of the Shogun Tokugawa family in the 17th century. After the nice stroll through this park, we made our way back to the pier and caught our fast-ferry for a two-hour ride to Oshima, where the real adventure began.