Japan – Narita, Tokyo
Forget everything you’ve heard – it’s all different anyway. Well, maybe not everything but a lot. Reality is like realising that the black box of an airplane isn’t black at all. Actually, I didn’t see one myself, but that’s what you learn when you’re caught in a plane – for eight hours.
So what about Japan? The people aren’t that small. Now, they are a bit smaller than average, which is enough that you might find stairs, toilet rooms and things that hang from temple ceilings a little small or low designed. In general you might say Tokyo is a bit into extremes. Many people are either running to get somewhere or knocked out and sleeping in their subway seats or in cars on the side of the street. What’s quite interesting is, even with the extreme fashion tendencies of the young generation it’s easy to stand out with blue jeans and a light gray and red winter jacket.
Winter is probably a good season to avoid masses of tourists. Still, now in January Japan seems a bit sad, missing it’s colours and cherry blossoms and that stuff – apart from the plastic thingies you can find everywhere.
Tokyo is big with a population of over 12 million. Nevertheless, it’s rather hard to get lost. There are city maps and subway stations at every other corner. The hard part is to find a specific place because of their building signing system. Also there are various subway and inner railway companies which makes route and cost estimations a little more difficult.
Anyway, Tokyo is a city built for many, many people. Small places to eat are everywhere. Small machines where you can buy pre tempered coffee and cold drinks ubiquitous. At every other corner there are police cabins and it generally seems like they found perfection for a full employment scheme. ‘Alright-and-attention-shouter’ for reversing commercial vehicles, ‘bicycle-closer-side-by-side-positioner’, ‘people-by-passing-waver’ at one-man construction sides.
What’s not to be missed:
– Asakusa temple and market; big shopping malls around Kanda
– Tokyo City Hall, and the view from the 45th floor
– Sumo, when you’re there around tournament time
– and, of course a lot of temples, shrines, parks, trees..
Next stop: Kyoto tomorrow morning.