We only had the pleasure of visiting Japan for 4 days over New Years, and as fleeting as our time was, I have to say, I’m in loooooooove! Since living in China, I’ve gotten a little jaded by all the pollution, loogie ridden sidewalks, and the daily regime of riding my bike in and out of crazy traffic like I’m in a game of Frogger. So it was nice to escape to a place where there are blue skies for days, people who adhere to traffic laws, and cutting in line could get you a swift kick in the face (see photo below)
1.) As I overhead a girl in a bathroom say, “I have a love affair with Japanese toilets.”
Enjoy the allure of the Japanese toilet with all its bells and whistles
2.) Meander through the narrow streets, parks and temples of Old Tokyo
4.) Catch a view of the never ending city up in the Tokyo Skytree
5.) Spot the array of fashion subcultures over in Harajuku
6.) Catch a sumo wrestling tournament (which btw are only held during odd months)
7.) Hop a fast train and get out of the city to a neighboring town
1.) Make sure your socks match – a lot of places, including the two hostels we stayed with, required you to remove your shoes once entering.
2.) The streets don’t have names – Its quite confusing at first but how it’s designed is major streets have names and the rest are defined by numbered blocks. Within the blocks, houses and buildings are assigned numbers but not necessarily in numerical order. They are assigned numbers based on when the building was built. So building 3 might be beside building 8 (happy hunting!). Typically street addresses are posted on telephone poles, which you can look for at the end of the street. In case you get lost, there are usually detailed street maps by subway exits.
3.) Make sure you don’t go broke – I am sure we just ran into some bad luck, but the night before we departed we were low on cash and not sure we would have enough to get back through the subway and onto the Narita Express. We tried every ATM in all the convenience stores but they only serviced Japanese debit cards. Luckily we had enough but it would have been a real bummer had we not!
4.) Get your subway on! For 1000 yen (roughly $12 USD) you can get an unlimited subway pass good for one day on all Tokyo Metro Lines. This is nice if you have planned a day of sightseeing all over the city.