Ok, I can only put a few photos in this post. Yesterday was huge, and I took a lot of pictures. There are over 260 in this album, and it was closer to 400 to start. Each one adds something new to Tokyo, so check it out if you have time.
It was an early start. Something happens to you when you change 14 time zones. 9PM seems very late, and 6 AM is sleeping in. I still haven’t caught up, but each day is better than the last. 6AM in Austin is 8PM in Tokyo, so my brian hater my riht nwo. I was on the search for an ATM that would accept my card. The search was almost successful. I did find one that would take my card, but without thinking I tried to withdraw more than the limit, and received no cash. I was so used to this that I didn’t even check the receipt to see why it wasn’t giving me cash.
The walk was nice at first. A river runs through Tokyo near Asakusa, where I’m staying, towards the bay that leads to the Pacific. I say at first because it my calves are worse than sore. Throughout the day I walked more than 7 hours without meaning to. What a day. Now pictures
It turns out crazy cat ladies are ubiquitous. Every culture has them, whether you have a place to put the cats or not. At least she has a view!
In Tokyo there is not much space. You find ways to plant a garden, sort your recycle on the street, or even pump gas.
By the way, that is a gas station on a corner not much bigger than a big car.
Forget about washing it.
These were actual buildings. Only the last one makes sense. They call that Electric City, and it is where all of Japan’s newest electronic devices are displayed.
You see a lot of posing like this. They’ll block streets off for a good shot.
They caught on for Halloween, but somehow only the jackolanterns made it across the ocean. People here find excuse to party, so this seems like a good one.
I’ll throw in a Christmas wreath-tunnel for fun. Did I mention that Japanese are Buddhist? More on that later.
I want to add that Japanese people watch the dumbest television. I’m in a hostel writing a blog post. 4 Japanese youths are watching a game show that is trying to decide if a cantaloupe is real or not. I have no idea the prize. The last two shows were about make overs. Girls here really want to change their image. Many change their hair color to a brown. Lots wear enough makeup to make me look like a woman. I think in a country where every person fits the same description, it is advantageous to stand out.
What’s weird is that there are sometimes 4 or 5 vending machines on a corner, the toilet seats are heated, and there are flashing signs/advertizements everywhere. Superfluous is an understatement – you think we waste electricity in the US?
I’m skipping a lot here. If you’re interested, make sure to check out the photo album for more.
After getting an ATM to work for me it was more tourism. Tokyo tower is one of the highest places you can get in the city, and I wanted to see as far as I could.
The cemeteries and parks were of special interest from above
After 2 days in Tokyo, I hadn’t expected to see grass. This was the first and last time I saw it in the city. Later I would walk down the and lay down (remember the jetlag). People here live within feet of others and get along nicely. I’m pretty sure that would last only a few minutes in the US before a fight broke out. Did I mention that everyone here is super polite and law-abiding? They don’t even cross a street without a light to tell them (and every 2 way intersection has one.)
Being above made me want to see the cemetery and big temple. The cemetery was very cool. People are buried up down to save space, so the tomb stones are close together. Here are a few of my favorites. You can see the personality in the person making the sticks, putting flowers, or even jackolanterns.
My buddy AJ loves public transportation, and with him in mind, in the couple of hours of remaining daylight (the sun is setting about 5PM right now) I went to Shinjuku station, the largest metro station in the world.
I’d estimate that several tens of thousands of people were there at the same time as me. And all of them would be out in 20 minutes making room for tens of thousands more. In all that I only saw one white person. Tokyo has over 12 million people, 11,999,990 of them are Japanese.
Finally the sun was setting, and I was whooped. On the way back to the hostel I snapped these and several others at the green bridge.
I hope you enjoyed the photos. I have tons more from today and the remaining from yesterday. Don’t forget to check those out.