Getting Around, Tokyo
Doing science is rewarding...After many years of intense work I've learnt how to travel in time. My interest in plastic arts, and Andrea's suggestion decided my first destination. I wanted to see the Sistina Chapel before Mr. Buonarotti started his marvelous "decoration". Figure 1 shows the naked ceiling where few hours later Michelangelo would start to work. The picture was taken by one of his associate in April 1508. Few moments later I went back to Tokyo Station Marunouchi North Exit because I had a train to catch.
Fondest memory: The Sistine's affair made me lost a bullet train but no problems, there is a train departing every 15 minutes with a precision that could help to set one's watch.
The Japanese language throws up some unfortunate translations at times.
A good example of this is the Tokyo equilvalent of London's Carnaby Street - Takeshita street.
It is virtually impossible to see a sign to such a place without trying surpress a silly schoolboy-like smile.
Tokyo is a very convenient place to travel by taking their efficient train systems. Many tourists will use the famed Yamanote Line, as it encircles the city environs. Purchasing tickets are simple as the ticket dispensers allow money changes. However, there is a new Suica Card that is a cashless swipe card introduced in Tokyo (similar to Hong Kong's Octopus card system).
Fondest memory: Japanese are very detailed in everything they do. I noted that at every train station, there is a departure chime telling passengers that the train is about to leave the platform. But, the interesting fact is that every chime is different for each individual direction! Yes, even north/south and east/west bounded trains have different tunes. If you are fortunate to board these trains, please note once you get on/off the train. The melodies are quite nice and soothing.
Favorite thing: Bicycles and scooters are everywhere in Japan! You will often see parking lots and mulit-level parking garages filled with just bicycles. Bicycles are also everywhere on the streets and sidewalks of Tokyo. So try to walk in a straight line and to the left of the sidewalk as much as possible and keep an ear out for bicycle bells coming from behind. The Japanese are used to sharing the walkways with bikes so if you ever have a close call, just forget about it and go about your business. Also keep your eyes open when crossing the street. Scooters seem to follow a different set of laws than cars.
Everywhere you want to go in any place in Japan, just go to the nearest Tourist Information Center they can really help you, they speak English and they have a map and tourist guide brouchure available for you.
Asked for a full details about your trips so that you will not get lost just like I did, but that all about your adventure anyway and it is fun though.
My favorite Tourist Informtion Center is in Yokohama Station the staffs are very friendly and eager to helped you and with smile all the time.
Favorite thing: Take the Sumida River Line and cruise from Odaiba to Asakusa, you'll see its 12 unique bridges. To get Odaiba you must get first Shimbashi Station, by JR lines(Yamanote line,Tokaido line, Yokosuka line, Keihin Tohoku line) and subways(Ginza line, Asakusa line). Once in Shimbashi transfer to Yurikamome line and get Daiba Station.
I don't have a place that I would say you must go to. I believe that we are all different and we all like different things. I can only tell you what I liked and hopefully it will help you make up your mind if you are interested in the place. Out of all the places that I enjoyed most while in Tokyo I think I would choose Ueno Park as the best place to capture the atmosphere of Tokyo. It is an easy place to get to. The JR line,The Hibiya line and the Ginza line will all take you to the Park. There are many things to see and do in this area and you could easily spend the whole day here. The park is beautiful and as you walk up the main walkway you can hear the crows calling. You see shrines and temples and pretty trees. There is a boating area and a large pond that is filled with exotic wadding birds. There is a tranquil feel to the area although it is in the middle of a busy city. It is a great place to start your holiday as you really capture the feel of Japan here and if you keep walking to the back of the park you will reach Tokyo Zoo, The Botanical gardens, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Cultural Hall, National Science Museum, Museum of Tokyo University of Arts and The National Museum of Western Art. They are all located within the park.Just outside the park is a lovely Tokyo style shopping area with thousands of little shops as far as the eye can see. It is located opposite the south exit of the JR line at Ueno station. Cross the road and you will be in the Ameyoko Arcade.It is a great place to stroll and look at the market-style shops.You will also find plenty of restaurants and evev a McDonalds takeaway.
Fondest memory: Being crammed into the underground trains at rush hour. I will never forget the feeling of being packed in like sardines.Total culture shock and I loved it . We often talk and laugh about our time spent in the rush hour underground trains, something I will never forget
Walking anywhere, especially traditional and out of way places;
getting reinforcing picutres and images of their lifestyles.
Fondest memory: The new and old side by side:
a cosmoplitan metropolis still maintaining distnct areas of commercial activities;
people of different calls on the move 24/7
*** getting lost in New Shinjuku near the Tokyo Metropolitan Govenment Building when trying to get to Kabuki-cho with my friend Lucas from Soweto =8-)))
If you're a first-time visitor to Tokyo, I would recommend that you pick a district in the city, perhaps one with a specific site you'd like to see, and just spend some time looking around and seeing what there is to see.
Fondest memory: My favorite memories are not of sites I visited, but things I stumbled upon while walking down a street or exploring a certain neighborhood. I think the best way to see any big city is to simply take the time to look around and see what surprises you may find.
Favorite thing: The seats in the subway are nice comfortable fabric benches. People in Tokyo take care of what they have streets are clean subways are neat and comfortable and it's all due to the way the people take care of things. This seat wouldn't last a day in New York.
Go take the Bullet Train, really Fasssssssssssssst!!!
Fondest memory: Food and Japanese young ladies in school uniform, even if its MIDNITE...or SUNDAY!!!!!!!!
Its suppose to be a signature of them..and they are damn proud of it!! way to go!!
Favorite thing: ride Shinkansen which is one of the fast train in the world. I traveled from Tokyo to Osaka. This train is very comfortable and less noisy.