Despite being one seat over from a very loud and unhappy two year old and having a whiney American senior citizen in the seat behind me (I wouldn't have believed it was possible to bitch about the size of the seats for six hours non-stop) I managed to sleep for almost three hours which was better than I had expected. The airport was lovely, very big, but not overwhelming and it felt very efficient. I was so tired I didn't think I could manage the youth hostel, so I got a bottom of the line business hotel from the hotel desk at the airport. Then I changed my Thai Bot and got some additional yen from an ATM, and set off to discover the Tokyo Metropolitan rail system.
Completely to my amazement I had no trouble getting to my hotel (two hours, two trains, and a several block walk). It's been raining the entire time, and by the time I check in at the hotel it's starting to get dark. I'd been hoping to take the Tokyo circle (Yamanote) line to get my orientation around the various districts of Tokyo, but since it's dark there doesn't seem to be much point. Then I was going to go explore the electronics shopping streets in Akihabara (the next suburb over) but I read in the guide book that the stores were to close in an hour. So I ended up relaxing for a half hour then venturing out and exploring the modern shopping streets and traditional markets of Ueno (the district I'm staying in). I was going to try a random restaurant, but I ended up chickening out and just had some local fast food. Back at the hotel I tried to work on my journal, but I was too tired so instead I took advantage of the bath in my room (it's a Japanese style bath - very deep but square, so you sit up in it) and then went to bed.
This place feels like Bangkok in a lot of ways - same energy and bustle, but it feels civilized and somehow tamed. And of course it's about ten times more expensive (my dinner was $12, my hotel nearly $80!) Keep reminding myself it's only for a couple days.