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Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has to be one of the strangest places i have been, not a bit of it, all of it. houses intricately placed with skyscrapers, vending machines and strange highways. and the car parks well they just take the micheal, they are unbelievable and unexplainable in an email. imagine a ferris wheel attached to the front of a building but covered with a rotating 'thomas the tank' style table in front of them and porters and you might start to dream of the reality.

since i arrived very early yesterday you could count on your hands the number of non-japanese people out here and im staying in an international hostel. but heres johnny, we have been helping each other out, this is us taking noodles in the quietest noodle bar we could find, manners, chopsticks and english hunger dont always mix. but heres the nice lady who came outside as we pointed to the food we wanted. not many folk speak english but they do try and if you have a map they usually get you there which is cool.

the hostel is by the river just around the corner from here->
you must also do all the traditional things like take shoes off and that but its nice and the facilities superb.

we went for a tour of electric town which is completely crazy, there is just every imaginable product ever and some of the stores have 7 or 8 floors. there is also an obsession for computer games and this type of pinball game. we walked in this one place and on each floor is a different game but like 40 machines for each game. the players are fixed and seem to have individual techniques for success. i dont think one saw the two foreignres nearby- everywhere else people seem to notice. the area also gave a first glimpse of manga art and the creative ways its used, thats all im saying, but there are many uses, mainly one, here is a snippet of a picture-

today it rained a bit and umbrellas were everywhere, dont think they like to get wet out here. anyway we went to a special temple meiji-jingu which was destroyed to ashes during the war but was rebuilt unlike any other temple, its paths and trees and temples are fantastic peaceful retreat.

After we went to shinjuku which has two of the largest department stores in the world. they are like the size of the main building if not bigger for anyone associated to aston. imagine then that they pasted the outside with neon and that every street surrounding looked like this. this is really is a breathtaking site of its own proportion, even though every street may look the same you still grab the camera and hope for more battery power!!! i cant upload a picture because the file is too big, sorry, just imagine!

The people are all really, really well dressed people and clean, some do the mask thing but we just think they have cold sores as the air here seems better than london. Today our subway train was stopped because of a smell coming from our cabin, it wasnt us but we made some friends as we were kicked off the train and left needing help. anyway it seems it was quite an issue with the well suited inspectors. there are never any phones going off either- anywhere!

christmas is quite big out here too, there are people everywhere wearing crazy outfits too and santas outfits for the women are quite popular with the harajuku girls. finally and i will leave with this, the highlight of last few days, the tiniest bar/cafe in tokyo up a spiral staircase next to one of the busiest districts, no one there not that they could fit with us there, just johnny, me and the barman, oh and his entire and unimaginable jazz vinyl collection. a surreal experience and from what it seems a summary of tokyo so far.

we have been walking some more around the city and luckily were able to take kei with us from the hostel one day. she took us to a temple that is still used by the japanese people today. the smoke you can see in the picture makes you clever apparently and the fortune boxes revealed i will have good fortune, could have been worse!

it was nice to see more of the ornate japan as much of the city is built on numerous floors. everything seems to go off above or below you and is quite futuristic. having said that the people still continue to amze both me and johnny. today on the train we were watched by some tiny and well ordered school children. japan seems to be intent on ensuring the young people follow tradition and order. which personally from what i have seen is a lot better than the uk.

kei as seen here as also told us about some of the strange things that go on here. the masks are for people who have a cold to ensure they do not pass it on. when you finish drinking you must keep your glass full as a mark of respect and there is definately no eating in the streets. oh yeh and ladies there is no such thing as first.

from the extraordinary to the slightly more ordinary, we went to the beer museum too. the entry was free, the musuem two rooms and since it was all in japanese we decided to make the most of the sampling bar, probably the cheapest bar in tokyo and definately worth a visit!

we even met some local ladies who were on the next wall...

the museum is part of the garden palace complex in ebisu, the beer is called yebisu and took its name from the factory and beer. well it kind of grew and now it stands with 39 stories as part of the city which is garden palace. it must be the size of an area of central london and much much higher in places! here is the view from the top.

tokyo has been great. the place clean, the people all have a role in society and there is respect for everything! you are guaranteed to see the crazy, the wonderful and the amazing! tomorrow we will go to the largest fish market in the world and then later in the day its back to the skies...

next stop: CAIRNS AUSTRALIA!!!

ps. all those japanese cars we have- they are hardly seen on the streets here!


brian san

This Rocked
permalink written by  50watts on December 3, 2005 from Tokyo, Japan
from the travel blog: Ending 2005 and Starting 2006
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I'm half-maltese, half-english, living in France, having met my girlfriend while on my first Blogabond adventure [way back].

I am trying to pass the rest of my life continuing to travel and to make things happen as someone once said.

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