People and Life, Tokyo
Favorite thing: Sometimes you will find Japanese frightened of you, after all, if you leave the city and go out into the country it is still possible to find people, especially young children ,who have never met a foreigner in person.
After going there the first time I was taken aback by
so much generosity. Almost everyone who expected us greeted us with beautifully wrapped gifts. Even a cashier in a gift shop gave me a gift just for browsing in her store!!! I was beginning to feel guilty! The Japanese are extremely gracious people. It's good to bring a few items, tokens of friendship (they don't have to be expensive) with you in case this happens it's always nice to reciprocate. Also make business cards -the swapping of business cards is a big ritual in meeting people. Even if you have just your name & address on it -you will probably find yourself in a position where you will be offered a card by someone, so you'll wanna do likewise.
Fondest memory: My friends!!! I made SO MANY GREAT FRIENDS THERE!!! Lotsa laughs, lotsa sake, lotsa good times.
A view of the city I briefly made my home. It's amazing. A little intimidating at first? Definetly. Even for me who's been to Sydney, New York, LA, and Bangkok; major cities that I feel the master of. And my home of D.C. isnt exactly a small town. But being in a totally different culture. In a packed town where everything is so unfamiliar. I was plopped into Tokyo and had to do things myself. That's probably what made me love it so much eventually. Once you master the subway and figure out the neighborhoods, you feel as if you own the streets. I've always enjoyed being unique and being a foreigner at peace with the streets of Tokyo is as unique as it gets. COME TO TOKYO. FACE IT HEAD ON. LIVE LIKE A LOCAL. YOU'LL NEVER FORGET IT.
Fondest memory: Riding the subway to Shibuya, stepping out of the station into the pouring rain at 11 pm, not knowing how to get back home and not caring. Just looking to explore and have an adventure in one of the greatest cities in the world.
learn how to say 'sumimasen'. It's the only word in the Nippongo which can mean 'excuse me', 'i'm sorry', 'pardon', 'come again', or if you have nothing else to say... 'sumimasen'.
Fondest memory: Getting my insides squeezed riding in trains during rush hour. Since we go to work at the same time the whole workforce does, we have no choice but to ride the jampacked trains as if we're sardines in a can.
Fondest memory: When I got out of the subway, it was raining and nighttime when I was searching for my hotel. I was soaked and tired and lost. A kindhearted stranger whom I asked directions from gave me his umbrella so I could continue on with my search a little less wet. After circling the area I eventually found my hotel.
Fondest memory: There are numerous small delights to be noticed in Japan, from the point of view of a London boy. The plant pots and flower baskets outside tiny homes in urban Tokyo...The many city workers (e.g. building site security, cleaners in shopping malls) who sport immaculate uniforms and seemingly hold some pride in what they do, the lack of litter and graffiti. These all, in a way, reflect one stereotype...the clean, safe, well-ordered Tokyo. This is certainly what I noticed when comparing with my own hometown. However, there was another abiding memory I brought back to Old Blighty with me; the fun-loving, happy young people I spent some time with. I honestly belive that the people I met had a capacity for fun that could rival the Thais! OK, it generally took some alcohol involvement before the shyness dissipated, but in a way that echos how us Brits can often be.
there are a lot of things to do in Tokyo, from simply walk trough the crowed street to risk your life eating Fugu...
Fondest memory: For who are from a western country Japan is a real different world, different culture, habits, food and buldings. I enjoy everything during my stay, but I really miss their food and their way to eat.
Fondest memory: This is probably the safest and cleanest of all the large cities I have visited. The people have a natural respect for everyone else around them. We walked everywhere, day or night, in perfect safety. The only blemish is the humidity ... it does get stifling there and even a short walk outside will leave you literally drenched.
Favorite thing: While in Tokyo, I had the chance to meet an email pal, Kaori. She was even nicer in person than I had imagined from her emails.
Favorite thing: Gozilla!!! I was almost shouting out when I saw my favourite animation character in such a big size! He is playing with a kid! I also want to sit on him!!!
Favorite thing: Forgot to pack your underwear? Don't dispair. Here's a vending machine that dispenses men's underwear and socks. This machine is found on the 23rd floor of Shinjuku Prince Hotel.
Favorite thing: Don't know how to use these space age toilets? Here are the instructions for this particular Toto model at Dai-ichi Hotel Ryogoku.
Favorite thing: These toilets can be found in many places, eg. hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. These are electronic toilets! This toilet was at Dai-ichi Hotel Ryogoku.
Favorite thing: I honestly do not know what this guy was trying to advertise... he walked back & forth like a Devo-wannabe, and I assume the screen on his chest was playing advertising slogans.
Favorite thing: Living in Tokyo, you will always be considered as an outsider, but in almost every case you will be warmly accepted and treated with courtesy and respect.