On April 29th, Cory showed up at Narita and I showed him around Tokyo for 3 days or so. He absolutely loved it and kept seeing various sculptures and buildings and jokingly complaining that everything was "too perfect" and clean. Apparently coming from the 5th most polluted city on earth (Taiyuen, China) to Tokyo was an eye-opener. Then we went to Yokohama, which, although it's often counted as part of Tokyo in population figures and can be reached in 15 minutes on the Shinkansen, is actually it's own city with a culture of it's own.
Unfortunately, from what I can tell, it's pretty boring compared to Tokyo -- though we didn't explore much. We went to 3 days straight of the Yokohama World Table Tennis Championships. Cory's ranked 5th in Connecticut, 10th in Mass., and 1st in Maine, so he's pretty into it. Unfortunately, there was probably about 2 hours of excitement in the 3 days for me. If you don't think table tennis is that exciting, picture watching it in a stadium, at a huge distance -- the table ain't any bigger. So that 3 days was okay but I wasn't into it like Cory was.
He also got to meet some of his table tennis idols (all 3 of whom I somehow managed to spot at 3 different places in Yokohama) so it was a big deal to him.
Peter Karlsson & Cory
Panagiotis Gionis & Cory
Zoran Primorac & Cory
Oh, and I finally stayed in a capsule hotel. I won't be doing that again. It is pretty coffin-like, as you would expect. But definitely glad I did it once. At Tokyo prices, your capsule is still about $50 a night, so I'm pretty sure I'll continue to spring for a normal cheap hotel.
Cory got to meet a couple of my Tokyo friends, but not many, and Kelly was on a two-week trip to the States. After 6 days, we both went to Narita and he flew to Beijing and I to Hong Kong.