We Have arrived at Sawanoya, our Ryokan in Tokyo. Local time is 15:35, January 19.
The differance between our Kyoto lodging an our Tokyo appears to be a good metaphor for the two cities themselves. Yuhara in Kyoto was very small, with only a handful of rooms (not even numbered; we stayed in “Matsu”) with a staff consisting entirely of the Yuharas themselves. We had a coin-op television with thirteen stations, and an in-room phone that only rang down to the front desk. Here there is DSL available in our room (the form factor on their DSL modem is something I shall need to speak with certain staffers at my place of employment), a dining room with a free-use, internet-connected computer, free tea and coffee, and some rather detailed English-language guide information available readily. It sacrifices some of the old-world charm, but so far I would highly recommend staying here if you get the chance. It is a seven-minute walk from Nezu-Eki (subway), and a very short taxi ride from Ueno-Eki (JR).
As always, the public transportation system was a great help to us in making the move from Kyoto to Tokyo. Though rather expensive at about ¥25,400, the Shinkansen was fast, comfortable, effecient, and easy to use even with our extremely limited Japanese language skills. The kind folks at JR even let us connect from Tokyo-Eki to Ueno-Eki at no additional charge. While in Tokyo I may be picking up a USB card-reader that will work with the memory for my camera (provided that the hotspot in Ueno Koen doesn’t work for me), so there should be photos up in the next couple of days.