Where: Tokyo, Japan
Japan has always loomed larger than life in my mind.
It’s presence in Western culture captivated me from a young age, and I’ve always wanted to go and see all of it for myself, from the wacky and weird to the insanely futuristic. So when I started planning out a trip to take after graduation, Japan was naturally at the top of my list, and Tokyo was the perfect place to start.
After spending some time here, there have been a few observations that have really stood out in my mind. First, Tokyo is absolutely, incomprehensively massive. Just a truly mind boggling scale that really becomes evident when you get up high. Secondly, everyone here seems to be obsessed with following the rules. From waiting in orderly lines to standing on the left side of an escalator, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a Japanese person break a rule. And it makes sense too: there are so many people living in such close proximity that they need to be so efficient and polite just to make it work. I can appreciate it.
Having said that, Tokyo has one of the worst metro systems is ever encountered. It’s confusing, expensive, run by about a dozen different companies, and basically goals unless you know what you’re doing. Taking it was a necessary evil I didn’t enjoy.
For being so big, I felt like there wasn’t actually that much to do as a tourist either. The things I did do were pretty great, from the fish market to the parks to the very unique bars. But that doesn’t really feel like all that much. This is one of the few cities in the world that I feel are really significantly better to live in rather than just visit – you need time and knowledge to really get the full experience, and I don’t have enough of either of those.
No regrets though! I enjoyed my time here, finally seeing a city is wanted to visit for so long. Would have definitely appreciated better weather so I could get more pictures, but I have more than enough memories to make up for it.