Tokyo, the first 24 hours: Ramen, shrines & Portland beer

Straw-wrapped sake barrels in the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Shibuya, Tokyo.

Straw-wrapped sake barrels in the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Shibuya, Tokyo.

I got back from Japan just over a week ago and my body clock is finally back on track. Having to wake up at 8am for work has been pretty miserable but with every sad morning, I think —¬† I can’t believe I was in Tokyo!

Since I have been terrible about posting lately, I figured some Japanese adventure stories would be a great way to re-live the fun I had and get me back in the blogging saddle.

So, for the back story, my husband and I were part of a Portland group (he was one of three chefs, but we also had a brewer, a wine maker and a coffee guy with us) that traveled to Japan as part of a “PDX meets Tokyo” festival. The event was primarily sponsored by Columbia Sportswear, Airbnb and Travel Portland, which means I got a sweet new rain jacket and we had a free place to stay. Can’t beat that!

The whole trip was a lot of fun, but it was a good amount of work too: we sold Portland products at the UNU Farmer’s Market, the chefs each did two cooking demos, we toured three urban farms and catered a Seed-to-Table dinner for 100 people on Halloween night. While I’ll be posting about those adventures later, I’m going to backtrack to the very beginning — our 24 hours in the city.

Flying in to the Narita Airport

Flying in to the Narita Airport

My husband and I arrived in Tokyo on Monday, Oct. 25, around 7pm. We had been traveling for more than 14 hours, ten of which was the final flight. I love flying so it didn’t actually didn’t seem that long to me. My husband, on the other hand, is antsy by nature and was dying to get off the plane.

Continue reading