After doing Jeju in Korea, the time in Japan was by far a lot more relaxing. As I started off in Tokyo (the plan was 3 days Tokyo, 2 days Kyoto and 2 days Osaka), I spent 3 days there and during the time there, I only really spent one day exploring. After landing and meeting up with E, a fellow AIESECer, we went to her place as she offered me her place to crash. I spent the rest of that day planning out where I was going to go in Tokyo. The following day, the day trip began. As E still has her own things to do, I soloed the exploration via the subway. Speaking of transportation, getting around in Japan is far more expensive than Toronto which was something I haven’t seen for awhile. However, it’s interesting to note that the amount of cars I saw in Tokyo actually wasn’t a lot for a city. I was told by people to get the JR 7day rail pass (which you would have to order prior to arriving to Japan) which costs about $200. However, being the spontaneous person that I am, that did not happen as I totally forgot about that until I landed. Thinking back, I probably spent close to $150 on transportation in total but the important part there is that JR only has certain lines and other lines would require paying additional fare. Hence, I would recommend not getting the JR pass unless you were really planning to travel to multiple areas in Japan.
Anyway, back to the original reason for this post; I personally didn’t think there was much to see in Tokyo. But that might be because after Jeju, I wanted to do a lot more trekking and nature stuff. However, I did go to 10 different areas in Tokyo. From seeing temples to old style streets to a lifesize Gundam, nothing really stood out. The only place that was memorable was Akabane where the gamer in me came back to life after I saw all these new games. However here is a list of places that I went:
A person painting in Yoyogi Park in Shibuya
A bunch of decorated sake jars at ____
Temple at _____. This place was also full of small stores selling various Japanese snacks and also full of tourists
One of the best things that came out of Japan: Gibhli. This is at Akihabara.
And of course, the life size Gundam at ___
On the last day of Tokyo, it ended up raining all day so I decided to just cancel going to another area close to Tokyo and just rest up. It was much needed as my legs were still sore from all the trekking at Jeju. Also, I was going to take a night bus to Kyoto so I didn’t want to risk missing it. However, that almost happened. Even after getting to the subway station 90minutes in advance, I realized that there was no central bus terminal and thus was running around, asking people for the location of my bus. There are also many bus companies and buses gather people at really random spots so most people didn’t know where it was located. The only reason that I found the general location is because the workers at Starbucks took out their iphones to look up the place and helped direct me there. With 20 minutes left, I rushed to that area but and got really confused. The street that the map showed was really small. There were no buses around that area at all and no group of people waiting for the bus. Wandering around that area and asking people, someone finally was able to show me where it was. It turned out that the place I was looking for was on the 4th floor of a building… rushing up the stairs, I realized the way this works was you go to their office, check in and then someone would escort you to the bus. Making it with 1minute to spare, I finally found my bus to Kyoto.
Side Note: Interesting finds in Japan
This toilet is so cool; after flushing, instead of going straight into the bowl, the water goes up as a way to wash your hands.
So you pay and as you have enough for the item, it will light up. After selecting, you’d get a ticket for it and your change. Who needs cashiers now…