I`m in Tokyo. Home to my good friend and very amiable host, John Scott. Needless to say, I`m not doing much work, but I have had some very good Gin & Tonics, which is just as well because you wouldn’t want to be paying Tokyo prices for bad ones 🙂
I digress. Here are some pictures.
I love this city.
It truly is one of the worlds best, yet curiously has remained largely undiscovered by many western tourists until quite recently. It has the buzz of New York, the variety of London, the friendliness of Bangkok, and the ruthless attention to public sanitation matched perhaps only by Singapore. This is quite some achievement when you consider the sheer volume of people living here. Most people are thin (presumably from a healthy combination of walking and small food portions), well dressed (shopping is the national sport) and appear blessed with fine featured, natural beauty (there is no other word for it – the women are stunning. If I wasn`t happily married etc…).
It is surprisingly pedestrianised. For example, we were at Shibuya, possibly the worlds busiest intersection. When the crossing lights turned green, it seemed like the entire population of, say, Sydney, were attempting to cross the intersection at once – many of whom were travelling very quickly on bicycles. No one crashes into each other. Apart from anything else, that would be impolite, and the Japanese have an uncanny awareness of other people around them, ingrained since birth. One thing westerners may find odd is that they are in a distinct minority. It is possible to go an entire day without once seeing a face other than Japanese.
Tokyo is exciting and dynamic, and there would never be enough time to explore it all. Price wise, it`s no more expensive than London or New York, and the language barrier is not as big a problem as might be imagined. Many signs are in english, and communication can be achieved by pointing, smiling and waving. It hasn`t been homogenized by the tourist trade. Yet.
As one tourist guide book suggests “Get here quick, before the rest of the world catches up”.