Ryan and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary overseas just like how we eloped for our wedding. Being that frequent flyer that I am, I had accumulated enough points to get us a free trip overseas. While perusing through the flyer talk forums I decided that Tokyo was a suitable option since the fares were favorable during the time we wanted to go. Also the last 2 times I went to New York and had Ippudo and Ryan missed out so it would only be fitting that he would go to Tokyo to get some real Ramen.
So here are a few things that I observed while we were in Japan:
1) Clean very clean.
The Japanese are very clean people. We noticed that even in the fish markets, however exposed to the elements these places are, they still do a fair amount of cleaning all over. Now that doesn’t mean that all buildings are superficially perfect, but overall no litter on the ground, it doesn’t smell, and since people don’t eat in public there aren’t any public trash bins.
2) People are very very quiet and well dressed.
Didn’t see one person wearing pajamas of any sort. Pretty much while we were there women are very well dressed and are well kept, even the older ladies got dressed! Same with the men, pretty much unless you were dressed like Johnny Depp or David Beckham you wore a suit and tie. I think Ryan wearing a hoodie around town was probably the most casual I saw when we were out there. In fact, I was wearing my bright neon teal Nike’s and leggings, and that was pretty casual. Also, I noticed while I was wearing my Ray-Bans people were staring at me because people don’t wear sunglasses out there.
3) Food is fucking off the chain. No matter where you go there’s great food.
Sushi- thick cuts, go to The Tokyo Fish Market. It rocks and you’re not gonna find premium fish like this anywhere prepared by master sushi makers.
Ramen- There are hundreds if not thousands that will rock your socks off. All places are different, and they all are delicious. You even order it from a vending machine with pretty pictures. WARNING: have cash on you, they don’t take cards at these places.
Any other foods of different nationality will have a Japanese take on it, so be mindful of that, they cater more to what Japanese people are used to eating so we had pasta & pizza at one place that had corn and fish eggs. Weird. So stick with the Japanese food!
4) The city is rich in culture, lots of temples lots of things to do, we couldn’t do it all.
We were at a crossroads of trying to do everything, see temples, eat good foods, and go see all the hotspots. It’s nearly impossible with our budget and with the time we had to see everything. So we stuck around the city and just saw as much as we could.
5) Public transportation is very well organized and easy to use and you can go virtually anywhere in Japan.
What’s great about Tokyo, is that it’s relatively easy to follow their pubic transportation system. Also worth noting, was that we didn’t have to worry about pick pockets like we did in Rome or Paris. Even though people are in close proximity on the train, need not worry. Although alternatively, they have train cars that are ONLY for women, because it’s actually a chronic problem of men sexually assaulting women. Hence the women only cars.
6) No pan handlers, no homelessness or signs of poverty, at least we never saw any.
7) One thing that I noticed was their priority on not selling any kind of luxury goods that were replicas. Rolexes, and Breitling watches were sold second hand super cheap.
We’ve been so busy planning our other trips that we didn’t pay much attention to what we were gonna do exactly. We had visions of trekking out of Tokyo out to Osaka, or even Hiroshima but it just didn’t seem viable for us to go especially if we were only going to go there for 3 days. Next trip we were thinking of doing a group trip and probably bounce around the whole country but since it was just us, we decided to do some pre-Tokyo scouting.
Now that this is done we were able to accumulate a good chunk of miles and gain status on our next flights. With Vancouver following this, it should give us enough miles to book our last ticket for my around the world trip! Stay tuned!