Today it is Sunday and is a rainy and gloomy morning. Mom is off to start her workshop this afternoon and I am probably going to venture to Harajuku which is where all the young kids dressed up in Kubuki and Anime costumes hang out on Sundays and pose for the cameras. Tomorrow I will tour the historic sights (since mom is already done on previous trips I will do it while she is working) with a guide that the hotel found for me. Tuesday I have no plans yet, and Wednesday we leave for Kyoto which we are both really excited about!
Overall impressions so far? Tokyo is one of the cleanest cities I have ever been to. The subway system is amazing – expansive and relatively easy to figure out if you are willing to be adventurous and make mistakes. The food is really good too – I actually haven’t had all that much Japanese food because there is food of every variety available and unlike other foreign countries, the food in Tokyo is good and true to form in almost every single place you go. I even had a Margherita pizza to rival Bertuccis! The streets are also pretty easy to figure out, unlike say, Bangkok where everything is windy and nothing is written in English. The few times I was getting my bearings; Japanese people came up to me and offered to help me find my way. The other thing is that because I am tall, blond and light skinned, I obviously stick out as foreigner, so I don’t feel nervous about trying to be “cool” or to act like I know what I am doing or saying like I would in say, France or Germany. I don’t look anything like a Japanese person, I definitely don’t speak the language well at all (just hello, goodbye, please and thank you) so I don’t even try too hard to “fit in” like I might in European countries, and I think that makes for a much more relaxed experience. The Japanese are also incredibly helpful and polite in a way that Europeans just are not.