Tokyo Part 1

June 17, 2010 at 3:57 am | Posted in Japan | Leave a comment

When we booked the tickets, Japan was one of the countries I found to be most intriguing and I’d wanted to go here for a long time. The only problem was that it is one of the most expensive countries in the world and being one of our final destinations meant we were pretty low on cash. So, unfortunately we decided that a week in Tokyo would be a good start and hopefully we’ll return and travel around Japan at a later time.

Our first impression of Japan. these toilets are crazy and have a lot of features. I must have pressed a female button at one point as it gave me a bit of a shock. My favourite feature has to be to the fake sounds available to hide any real sounds.

yes, i (kelly) have seen so many nasty toilets on the trip. sometimes they were so horrendous i wanted to take a picture as proof, but i decided that would be disgusting. however, i just couldn’t resist taking a pic of a nice toilet.

while we were walking around the outside of the Imperial Palace gardens, i spotted a photo shoot going on with the model dressed in traditional geisha clothing. so beautiful. i was really interested in the geisha culture, but it seems that nowadays, most geisha teahouses are either super touristy or more like red-light districts.

the imperial palace gardens are cool to walk around, but the palace isn’t actually located here. there are some nice pathways, buildings and a really pretty garden.

the japanese seem just as fanatical about gardens with fish-filled ponds and peaceful pathways as the chinese were.

since japan was our last country before heading back into the U.S., we took loads of pictures.

Yasukuni shrine is a shrine dedicated to all that lost their lives in battle.

There is also a section for all the animals that lost their lives in battle. At first glance we thought people had left their rubbish at the base of the sculptures, but then we realized the water bottles and bits of food are meant as offerings to the animals. There are dog, horse, and bird monuments.

another quiet little garden near the shrine.

The busiest crossing in the world. it was so much fun to see the main shopping district, but we were a little overwhelmed.

really cool billboards everywhere.

We found a great little sushi stall near to our hotel down a sidestreet. we enjoyed numerous snacks at this little sunny corner. there is also a deep-fried stall with amazing chicken and a czech cook – a combo that really won over hudson.

colorful flags outside of the sumo complex. we also went to the tokyo museum that is nearby. the museum is kind of a strange mix of things, but we enjoyed it.

samurai costume from the tokyo museum

samurai swords

japanese lantern. there is an entire traditional japanese building inside the museum.

i think this style of japanese art is really lovely, especially the different patterns.

The japanese have a really unhealthy fascination with anime cartoons. These cartoons are dodgy to say the least and are focused on young-looking girls who have these enormous breasts. There are loads of shops selling all these magazines and girls dress up on the street to advertise them. it was really disturbing.

akhibara is tokyo’s famous electronic town where there are hundreds of shops selling absolutely everything electronic. we thought we’d see some great deals here, but the prices are similar to the U.S. – it’s more the selection that is uncomparable.

there are also these giant arcades where the japanese play video games; it would be a 12 year old’s dream. yes, we went into one of these arcades and it was ridicuous. there are at least 7 stories high and some floors had themes. i saw one strung-out gamer that had passed out right in his chair. weirdos.

we had a nice walk through the shopping district. there is a nice lake nearby as well. although tokyo seems bigger, busier and more hi-tech than the large chinese cities, it also seemed more accessible. more of the japanese knew english and in many ways the city of more westernized than chinese cities. i was reminded of nyc and felt at ease walking around. would have been nice to compare tokyo to smaller japanese towns, but we’ll have to do that another time.

it was nice that there is a pretty lake and park right in the city.

even in downtown/shopping district, there are a bunch of cool streets to get lost in. this street looked cool, but as we walked down we realized it was mostly restaurants and dirty comic/porn type places.

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