::: JAPAN EXPEDITION : DAILY JOURNAL : DAY 1 | July 18, 2005 :::

Daily Journal

Day 1 | July 18, 2005

Escape from Tokyo and to the islands

tokyo

Tokyo by night

Too much luggage and way too much humidity – that was our experience of arriving in Tokyo. The sauna-like atmosphere of one of the world's great cities coupled with transferring half a ton of equipment and personal belongings by foot from the train station to the hotel greeted us following our 12-hour incarceration by the airline. It didn't take long to recover, however, and we were whisked off by one of the team members (Aya Shimizu) for Saturday night on the town.

tower Our first full day in Tokyo was Sunday and Aya had arranged a sightseeing day taking in temples, markets and the Gallic-looking Tokyo Tower . The view from the tower wasn't brilliant – the haziness took care of that – but we could get a feel for the scale of the city that 20-odd million people call home. Back in the hotel, we re-arranged our equipment – already sending some off to Aoga-shima in preparation for next week's excursion.

Monday morning - and Day 1! The morning was taken up by transferring over to the port area of town - Tokyo lies on the ocean - and meeting up with Kohei (Kazahaya) and Nori (Morikawa), our collaborators from the Japanese Geological Survey of Japan. The trip out was remarkably efficient - we traveled by jet ferry at a constant 75 km/h (about 45 mph) for the two-and-a-half hours to Nii-jima, our first port of call.

ferry

Jet ferry to Nii-jima

We spent the evening enjoying dinner and discussing tomorrow's itinerary when we finally get to start collecting the volcanic gases of the Izu Islands.

team

The team enjoying dinner