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Feeling the funk in Tokyo - final thoughts on our taste of Japan

Tokyo Travel Blog

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common sight
Tokyo, in considerable contrast to the varied nature of Kyoto is ALL about bright lights and big city! Particularly at night, the whole place looks like the streets of a video game like need for speed or fast and furious.

While in Tokyo we've been to a few different areas - none of them looking a whole lot different but being very different in vibe. First place is where we've been staying - Ginza, this place was one of the first areas to get modernised and despite that still manages to feel really cutting edge with all sorts of dept stores and immaculately dressed Tokyo-ites. Perhaps a bit of an older more business-focused group of locals.
nissan showroom in Ginza, people where literally drooling over this skyline - me included
Secondly we spent a fair bit of time in Shiboya. This place has to rate as the funkiest, trendiest place we've ever been - streets upon streets of uber-cool boutique clothing stores and coffee shops etc. There was one place that will I always think of when looking back in Tokyo - it was a high rise tower of 8 floors of designer shops with the widest range of clothes from retro through to sci-fi and all in between and the people shopping there were all literally stunning! I said to Lou, about 3 floors up, '..is it me or is literally everyone here incredibly gooood looookking??' she was like ' yeah! I know!'... it was unbelievable how many gorgeous people could be crammed into one space. You start thinking you're a bit cool just by being there....and so we started trying on the clothes too.
shopping in Shiboya
..and looked RIDICULOUS. One thing to admire, another entirely to join in - too white, too old and too, big!

Last up was Roppongi, we really only went for food even though it was a clubs and bars district, both of us fighting off sickness bugs along with preparing for the 19hours of travel back home meant we weren't really up for a big night out but again, a different vibe - not quite as funky as Shiboya, not as classy as Ginza but looked like a good laugh.

As Lou mentioned in her blog another lasting memory of Tokyo will be the technology - electric toilets with heated seats, 'push' signs on doors - not because you need to open them like at home but because it triggers a sensor for them to slide away from you, taxi cabs with every kind of sat nav device imaginable and auto-opening doors and of course, neon and huge vid screens on every building.
the classic tokyo scene in shiboya
The sheer size of their embracing of technology is overwhelming and does make for a very safe, clean and convenient city.

Then there's just all the other wonderful stuff both in Tokyo and Kyoto that's so different to home
- people walking round with face masks on even though pollution is probably less noticeable than anywhere else we've been
- the sheer lack of english signage - everything requires just that little bit more effort, but that said, is really not that hard if you take your time and are patient
- but when there is english translations sometimes they're just so funny!
- how incredibly respectful everyone is and how safe you feel - everyone goes out there way to look after you - such a great culture
- the food is sooo different to anywhere we've been before.
loving the casio watch advert in Ginza
Clearly you are in Asian but it's still very different to mainland
- people dress SO well! sorry, it's been such a stand-out obvious point of the last few days it needs to be mentioned again - they are immaculate
- the distinct lack of any real foreigners, of course you see us all either getting lost or over on business, but we're not pervasive by any stretch
- the privacy people require - housing areas and bars and restaurants are often very hard to see into with big walled courtyards or closed up doors and windows

...could go on for hours and not everything is great either - there's definitely a very different 'appreciation' of women out here that is a bit unsettling to be honest when you see fairly bland magazines and comics on super market shelves or billboard adverts but on the whole the trip has been a delight and we can't wait to come back one day and check out more of what this amazing country has to offer.
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common sight
common sight
nissan showroom in Ginza, people w…
nissan showroom in Ginza, people …
shopping in Shiboya
shopping in Shiboya
the classic tokyo scene in shiboya
the classic tokyo scene in shiboya
loving the casio watch advert in G…
loving the casio watch advert in …
i like this sign :-)
i like this sign :-)
51,874 km (32,233 miles) traveled
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photo by: maka77