10 May A Weekend in Tokyo.
I spent only four days in Tokyo, Japan. It was a spur of the moment decision, so I had little time to research anything about this amazing country. What have I got to say about my short stint in the land of the rising sun? Well for starters, I fell in love almost instantaneously after arriving. It’s a very easy country to fall in love with. Anyways, here’s my first impression… Sadly, my laptop crashed shortly before this trip, so I lost everything I had on my computer (The reason why I haven’t had anything posted in awhile.) BUT, as you might have deduced, I’ve finally bought a new laptop, and I’m back in business!
Where did I go while in Japan? It was mainly a trip for a friend who wanted to party the whole time so…I obliged him. We visited the shopping district, and a temple in Asakusa which was a lot of fun. We floated around in Roppongi to a few different bars/clubs. Drinks ranged from typical $6 to $10. I always pregame before I show up, so drinks didn’t cut in to my budget too much. Visited an Owl Cafe near Ueno. Of course, stayed in a capsule hotel, ate sushi, and drank some Japanese whiskey!
One night we came straight from the club to the Tsukiji Fish Market. What drunk food could possibly be better than sushi? Probably almost any other choice actually, but you have to work with what you’ve got. There’s a place right near the market that’s supposed to have the best sushi. We didn’t know the name, but the line down the street gave us the clue we needed to find it. We, however, were not feeling patient that day. You have to arrive very early to see the auction, which we didn’t. So, we decided to venture around the area to get a glimpse of what we missed. The guard wouldn’t let us in. Everyone else went right through, but not us for whatever reason. So we graciously bowed and walked away…until I realized we could just go around the building to the other side.
So, we walked on through looking at all the different types and sizes of ocean life for sale. We almost made it to the other side when we noticed a security guard trying to flag us down. Now, I’m not saying this was the best decision, but there were people everywhere. There were carts, forklifts, a lot of traffic, and a lot of merchant stalls. We basically played Pacman in the Tsukiji Fish Market for about five minutes before they caught us and kicked us out. I’m not going to lie, it was fun as hell.
I can’t even count the number of times I used the word delicious when we were eating. I never tried a meal I didn’t like. I highly recommend that you try out a ton of different restaurants. There were so many small places that served amazing food. Top that off with cheap draft beer…perfection. It’s quite interesting how they take orders as well. Step One: Pick out what looks good. Step Two: Insert money in to machine, and get your ticket. Give the ticket to the chef. Pick up your food when it’s ready.
After a day or so, we had the subways pretty much figured out, but we did burn a lot of money by making mistakes. I would definitely recommend getting the free Tokyo Subway App –> (Android / iPhone) If you go in the wrong gate, say goodbye to the fare you just paid for, only to be in the same place. In the end we just started buying the minimum fare ticket, and paying the difference at the desk when we got there. Even though the subway is cheaper than other options, it’s still not that cheap. Besides the snags with transit, the only thing I’d say I didn’t like was how many coins you end up with. Japan uses coins for a lot of their currency. There’s a $5 coin. A stark contrast to the U.S. in that if I have some coins fall out of my pocket, I’m probably not even going to bother looking. In Japan that could be a rather costly occurrence. It doesn’t help that a lot of places don’t take card. Certainly not a deal breaker, but a fact I was not too fond of.
The first thing I noticed about Japan, besides the cherry blossoms, it was very clean. Like…very very clean. It doesn’t matter where you go, It’s clean. That’s a big deal, and you notice it right away. This is probably due to the fact that the people there follow the majority of the laws the government lays down (i.e. littering.) I was so surprised when I happened upon a little side street no bigger than one lane, at midnight, only to see people on both sides of the street waiting for the crosswalk sign to turn green. It was 12am. No cars in sight. I mean, I feel like I could have jumped from a standstill across this street. That part, I’ll admit, I don’t get; but if people follow the little rules well than they must follow the big ones too. This would explain why Japan has such a low crime rate. Maybe that’s the price you have to pay.
The Japanese are also very nice and respectable. We never received any negativity from anyone, and everyone we asked for help, usually directions, was happy to point us in the right direction. I did notice everyone in the country dressed nice too. As a matter of fact, even when we fell asleep on the subway after clubbing, and woke up four hours past our stop in the middle of nowhere, the houses were just as nice as in the city. There was never a building that looked rundown. I suppose that’s part of the cleanliness attitude of the country, but it’s very appeasing.
That’s about it for Tokyo thus far. Sorry for the lack of posts in the past couple of months. I’ll try to keep them coming as much as I can. Hope you enjoyed the read. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!