OK…it is amazing what 6 consecutive hours of sleep…and …well..a lot of Starbucks Frappacinos will do for my energy level and brainpower…as well as sense of Direction!
Today I proudly re-tackled the train and subway system …and other than one slight misdirection, overcame my newly found transpo-phobia! I feel less “Lost in Translation” today.
Last night Peter and I went to this great area near his hotel…it is a cross between Times Square and Vegas on Steroids(lots of street performers and neon)…it had these long narrow alleyways with tons of little hole in the wall restaurants(more like diners…maybe enough room for 8 people seated around the cook)…but NO Sushi there only Soba and Noodle type places…
The flashing Neon is Everywhere…and I mean everywhere…if you have any type of predisposition for Epilepsy…this is not the area to go. We finally did find some Sushi restaurants(surprisingly hard to find in Tokyo) and these restaurants, too, were holes in the wall…and Fabulous at that…and let me not forget: CHEAP…which is NOT a word I can use to describe much of anything here…this place makes London look reasonably priced.
Did I mention how BIG this city is:…I am told it is far larger than NY City…and more spread out than LA….BUT ignoring my transpo crisis, it is a very organized city and ALL the public Transpo runs exactly on time…not a minute late….But keep in mind that Tokyo has about 12.5 Million people living in the city…so it would reason that this city would be a loud and claustrophobic place with lots of hustle and bustle…right?…well not exactly…it does have a lot of hustle..and if you snooze(or walk on the right side of anything), you most likely will lose your life(and you don’t need to be in a car)..or at least be knocked down and stepped on…BUT with that said, the Japanese people are incredibly quiet…and I seriously mean quiet…during morning rush hour there are thousands of people rushing on the streets and in the subway…and all you here are their shoes clicking on the walkway…some are on cells(but very few)..but even they are quiet(Unlike those of us in the U.S who seem to raise our voice level several decibels while on our cells…)…Once on the subway, no one makes eye contact…the Japanese will physically sit on top of you..or step in your personal space while talking…but they will not look at you or acknowledge you are there unless you speak to them. They are not demonstrative…for example, clapping is not a normal part of their culture…very strange, especially after watching performers….
But if you ask someone something, they will take great lengths to help you…last night I was returning late at night from my visit and I made the mistake of going through Tokyo Station(the main station…it makes Central Station look tiny)…I was soooo very tired…and therefore sooo very turned around and lost(well that is the excuse I am using for getting so lost)…and this slightly drunk(I smelled a great deal of Sake on his breath…remember the personal space thing…)…well he saw me with my map upside down(and I was the sober one) and came to my rescue…and had he not, I am sure I would still be there…he walked me over 30minutes(yes all in the same station!) to my connection…and today I met a nice man from the Philippines who helped me find the Imperial Palace…The Japanese are not very showy…especially with their political monuments…the palace grounds are large but you don’t see very much….
On my way back to the hotel, I met this couple from Argentina…we had a great chat..and you will all be proud to know that much of our conversation was in Spanish…they spoke English but I insisted…so I could practice…can you believe it…I have to come to Tokyo to practice my Spanish!!!
Oh, one more thing about this quiet city…the Cars are very quiet too…and no one honks…while, walking on the street you barely hear any car or bus noise…and the city has almost no City smell…the buildings are huge…many are outrageously futuristic …while other have that 70’s futuristic style….it’s a very interesting city for architecture…I love the old historical cities myself…but for a quick visit, it’s fun to see the Mish Mosh of stuff….Oh let me not forget how clean it is…you could drop a piece of food and wait beyond the 5 second rule and still eat it!
But by far my most favorite things are the Bathroom Mirror and the Toilets…(:
Well off to Hong Kong…and there I am going to shop…well maybe…I heard there was a nice mountain for hiking….and I have all day Sat. off…and then half days on Sun and Monday….