Arrival in Tokyo

22 Dec

So I arrived in Tokyo yesterday, ready to explore the city for a week. My first cultural experience was a sushi meal after getting off the train near my hostel. And what’s Tokyo like? Awesome.

The first thing I realized before I even touched down was that Tokyo is huge. The view of it (From the plane as I landed in Narita) stretched so unbelievably far, and it wasn’t mostly sprawling suburb either. A lot of it was dense city. Rising majestically behind the city was Mt. Fuji under the setting sun.

When I got on the train to get into the city from the airport, I was the only foreigner/white person on the train. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but I got used to it. Westerners have been fascinated with Japan for centuries, and I was no exception. I chose to take the local train, because from there I could connect to a station close to my hostel. The express train would have taken me into Tokyo station itself, and then I would have had to take the subway, which is notoriously crowded in evenings (they have workers who push people into the carriages like sardines).

When I got off the train, I ate some incredibly good sushi in a restaurant by the station. The restaurant was in a regular grey building, but inside, its decoration was very traditional and beautiful. It’s these types of contradictions that make Japan fascinating. So then I walked to my hostel, went to bed, and now I’ve woken up early (Im writing this at 4am).

My first impressions of Tokyo have been positive. The people are very friendly and helpful (some locals saw that I had a map of the city in my hand and a backpack, and pointed me in the direction of the hostel).

The cityscape itself is full of boring grey buildings, elevated railways, narrow alleyways, and neon lights at ugly shopping malls. The culture of the country and the city, though, is incredibly unique and interesting. The only thing I don’t like is the pollution. Many people wear masks because the air really does make you feel queasy when you breathe. Other than that, I look forward to exploring Tokyo.

 

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