It was silence on the train and light showers outside. My head was sleepy, wiggling, one eye searching for the current station name. I was tired, would be so much better if I slept on the plain. Next time I will sleep. Speaker! Notice from a train driver saying "Next Ryōgoku station". Time to find a way out. Did someone say that's hard to find a way around the Tokyo? Well, actually everything is marked pretty well. Maybe even too much. On the floor you can see a bunch of yellow lines and arrows pointing, guiding you out, in, left or right. I bet Tokyo it's going to be the first city that introduces a traffic light for humans in the underground, heh just kidding. It's really well organized.
I remember slow walking towards the hostel. Streets where really clean especially compared to Berlin. People wearing surgical masks. I don't know why I wonder why. Is the pollution really so bad here?
Diving in such a big city will mean leaving out lots of things, and that's ok. Better to experience just a few bits, then a hundred, just to check them. So friend Žiga and I picked one random thing from the hostel counter and went there. That was Tokyo tower, where the famous and biggest manga called One piece has an amusement park. It cost us around 3000 yen to get in. That's around 23€, one euro being around 130 yen now. For that price, we got a crazy live show and a bunch of little games related to One piece, it was actually really nice, especially for me, since I am kinda a One piece fan.
If you are looking to have a good time, Tokyo is the place to be?
- Gaming buildings in Akihabara like SEGA, are up to ten stories tall, filled with all types of arcades games. Usually, first few floors are claw crane games, where you can catch your self a soft toy, manga figure, original Harry Potter wand or just something like a chocolate. Addictive few floors :D Following up to the next floors are more like Mario Kart type of games, strategical games and on the top multiplayer games.
- Sports centers offering all type of sports activities, like indoor surfing, SUP-ing and factors Baseball batting since Japan is petty big on Baseball.
- Shops where you can buy from manga sex toys to luxuries fashion brands coating.
- My favorite: Tokyo has most Michelin-starred restaurants, more than Paris, more than 200. Not like I had the money to visit one, neither that this is a standard for a good food, but the food here is something to enjoy. One Izakaya, probably just behind the corner will be offering Ramen or some kind of a yummy bowl for few hundred yen. You can find lots of Skewers and Sushi (not an everyday food) but also like really good Indian etc.
More I was talking with locals more it all made sense. Most people here in Tokyo worked about ten hours, some even twelve. Being in an office for so long makes you sleepy, tired and you need something to take the edge off. I heard some salaryman even developed a sleeping in an office routine, but all enjoy to visit a nearby Izakaya. The food there is mainly shared and the booze is cheaper compared to other places. I found beer taste to be pretty average, compared to Europe standards, but Sake or Shochu where really really nice. Hanging out in Izakaya kinda reminded me to Barcelona, where you go out order some Tacos and drink beer/wine. Good times.
Japan is known to be a home for almost all the best photography companies (Nikon, Canon, Sony..) in the world, but what you might not know is that here you can find the biggest, tax-free and probably the cheapest second-hand market for photography equipment. For me, being into amateur photography, these few stores (Camera Map,.. ) where a place where I speeded my last day, before the flight to the south of Japan. First finding the lens I wanted. After, running from one 7eleven to another, trying to withdraw the amount of money needed for the lens (7bank has Maestro card support). Oh, the moment. Standing behind ATM, looking at the Kana word telling me something in red color (not successful). I remembered, not all credit cards are acting the way they do back home and I was in a different timezone. I needed like more than a thousand euros to buy the lens plus the JR -Japan Rail pass that day and my flight was in a few hours. Couldn't really call the bank since home time was around sweet midnight. Watch on my hand was showing time to leave, towards the airport. Nothing else to do, I had to go towards the station to buy only the pass. The guy in JR station told me that I can buy a JR pass in other cities now, not just in Tokyo like before. The lucky moment, I used the money for lens and run towards the airport. See you soon Ehime.