Some quick observations from our stay in Tokyo:
– Home toilets are indeed widely equipped with rectal sprays (and plethora of other goodies)
– Vending machines are as popular – and colorful – as magic mushrooms
– City of lights – Times Square at every corner
– Pachinko; had never heard about this, but these yakuza-sponsored gambling rooms amped on 145+ beats-per-minute Power Techno are the nation’s most popular sport – since gambling is officially illegal, potential gains come under the shape of prizes, which can be traded for cash in nearby gang-operated stores; losses are soullessly irretrievable
– At 32 million, or 13 million, depending on the count, Tokyo’s population leads any urban center globally – and by a long shot
– Prices are high, which could be expected from the world’s most expensive city, but food remains within comparable range of expectations for say US or Western European urban dwellers
– Politeness and respect are a way of life, code of conduct, and a welcome one – or else seppuku. A restaurant owner will often accompany customers out of the restaurant and bow once more to them.
– Theft is non-existent, bicycles are mostly left unlocked on the streets, and so on.
– A culture of (excessive?) work: the Japanese are the world’s foremost experts at stealing minutes of sleep on the subway.
– Perhaps linked to this, the dating scene is inextricably more difficult than perfecting one’s high score on the arcade machines; people’s silence oft looms over the restaurant tables
Feels and Flavors
– the Tsukiji fish market – my only less pleasant experience since the world’s largest fish market has also become a popular tourist attraction, and the grumpy old woman shared some mediocre fish cuts – that being said, I wish by no means to discourage readers from experiencing it (and would gladly return, albeit to another restaurant, when given the opportunity once again)
– Manga culture is unsurprisingly pervasive: however it probably feeds from an early age on the somewhat unhealthy cult of the ‘woman-child’ (what’s the Japanese term?) – by the way, visited an exhibit of contemporary artist Makoto Aida – he’s killing it)
I realize these are but a narrow-eyed glimpse of the places visited, which may or may not be representative of the whole. And unfortunately, this will probably be the case for many of the countries and places seen, both due to my ignorance of the culture and the shortened length of stays.
Thoughts and feelings will be but but a well’s superficial reflection, I leave it to worthy readers to further probe its depths.
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Next up: a train ride into the city, photo scenes from Tokyo, and more!
I just got back from Japan a week ago and I agree with all of your observations! I’m amazed, for such a hugely populated city, how ordered it was. Like..it should feel chaotic, but I felt a calmness because there’s a respect for order, politeness, manners etc.
I felt safe even as a woman travelling on her own.
I did get the feeling that Japanese people work very hard by the same observation… sleeping on the train. I even saw students in their uniforms on the weekends.
I miss buying coffee from the vending machine 😉
Thanks! Japan is one of the safest countries I’ve ever been to, glad to hear you agree with those short observations – and the machine coffee does grow onto you 🙂 Best,
Hi, Japan is one of the safest countries I’ve been to. Glad you agree with those short observations, and yes, machine coffee does grow on you 🙂 Best,
Nice one, that brought back memories of my stay in Tokyo – especially the home toilets! Looks like you’re having one crazy fun adventure. 🙂
Thanks. It’s about to get fun-ner and crazier 🙂
Lots of Japanese visitors coming to this one particular place in Canada. And Why.