Tokyo has this reputation of Blade Runner-esque skyscrapers and dark grit, some sort of cyberpunk labyrinth of oriental urbanization. Don't believe me? Search "Tokyo" in google and click on "images." Highly stylized photos of an intersection of Tokyo, complete with glaring photo-shopped neon lights. And don't get me wrong, if that's what you're looking for, you can find it in pockets. But really, you're better off taking a gander at Singapore, Dubai, or Hong Kong.
Tokyo, and the surrounding suburbs, honestly kind of reminded me of Los Angeles, only bigger and better. Better public transportation, better and bigger parks, and much much cleaner. And of course, not a desert which can only make things prettier and greener. But despite being such a huge city, it didn't feel as big and scary as New York, with the skyscrapers looming overhead, taxis honking, and grim gothic architecture of its churches. I'm having trouble describing it and we didn't take a lot of pictures of the city. Just go there!
Part of what probably made me feel like it was similar to Los Angeles was that we stayed in a hostel in a wholesale district: Asakusabashi. It reminded me a lot of the wholesale districts in downtown LA, and it was conveniently close to everything in Tokyo without the price tag of staying in a fancy hotel.
|These guys whizzed around Tsukiji|
We also ventured into the Tsukiji fish market, which was impressive with the huge tunas and every fish imaginable for sale but I enjoyed the outer market more. I found what I think was around a 5kg bag of my favorite shiso katsuo ninniku for about $16, and debated smuggling it into my luggage but instead settled on a 0.5kg bag to enjoy during the trip. And yes, my mother and I ate every clove over the next several days for breakfast. It. was. glorious.
|Me, with my garlic, with puffy red face!|
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