JAPAN! JAPAN JAPAN JAPAN!!
*Picture me jumping up & down, pumping up a non-existent crowd
The feeling during the plane ride (after a stressful airport experience + accidentally leaving behind my sweet pot fries & sweet & spicy Hawaiian chips 😒) was something Jimmy and I will never forget. 2 weeks before this I didn't even have a passport now we were about to be on the other side of the world!!! I just kept picturing the globe in my head and thinking about where we were and how it was sooo far away from every single person I know! Even just being on the plane was crazy - we were the only white people in sight. I honestly can't think of many times I've been the minority, crazy that even on the plane I'm already growing, learning and broadening my perspective!
Fast forward to landing we left the plane with butterflies & fat smiles. Our first Japanese experience was a trip to the bathroom! Lol. If you don't think that sounds exciting you haven't been to Japan! Lots of their toilets include a full service of music, flushing noises, water spray, scents, dryers, etc!
A decent amount of confusion & walking and we made it to our air bnb: a tiny studio with bathroom like windows that you couldn't see out of. Mild claustrophobia set in but luckily excitement was too overwhelming to care much!
We spent the next 5 days walking around lots of different areas (only hitting a few tiny spots in this MASSIVE city) taking a ton of subways, searching for vegan food - holla to all the grocery stores & street vendors selling individual cooked sweet potatoes!!!! And most of all being wide eyed and bushy tailed at all the wonderful, weird, fun, and beautiful differences all around us!
Is this place seriously the same Earth that I live on?!?! Gawking and looking back and forth and up and down and every possible way at this craziness!!!
(Here we are at the Sensō-ji temple! It was so sick!! I had seen pictures of it was was like yeah cool... but in person it's huge and just breath taking!! We also saw the Imperial palace from afar even though it was closed to go into!)
<<<Overall thoughts on Tokyo!>>>
Ps these are based on my extreeeeemly limited experience of a few tiny areas within less than a week so I totally acknowledge that these things aren't true to everyone in Japan!!
- you are one crazy crazy place. We loved the buildings & ads everywhere & the fast pace!
(Traveling tip - when you see a sign in English that says "observation deck" follow that sign! You might end up at one of the coolest views and it might even be free?!?!!! This was our first full day in Tokyo!)
- Being surrounded (for what I realized was prob the first time in my life) with people that didn't look like me was such a cool experience. It made me think about how people who are constantly surrounded by people who have a different skin color than them feel? I often wondered what people were thinking about me - since I was white.
(We took the Subways everyyyywhere in Japan and had so much fun doing so! It made us feel like we lived there and it was so fun to people watch!)
- I was surprised about how few non Asian tourists we saw. I thought I would see a little more of a mix of races in the busier areas but we saw very few. Maybe 10 non Asian people a day.
- How are you so freakin big? One thing I kept saying while here was "where do these ppl come from?!? Where are they going?!? The sheer amount of people is wild.
(This was from up above the Shibuya crossing - UN REAL!!! Every single time to cross the entire intersection would be flooded with people and then somehow re filled with people the very next time!!?)
(We're in Anime district here it's called Akihabara! We went to the wrong spot at first - there's sooo many different districts that are poppin like this with people and businesses everywhere! It's wild & so fun!)
- It seems like people really value privacy. Little tiny windows on most apartments, hardly ever talking in the subways, and no smiling back at me when a I try to be this emoji 😁
- Safest place ever. I kinda feel like ppl are too private to steal anything haha. I never got over the fact the no one locks up their bikes here!?! And there a billion bikes everywhere, I saw 1 lock the entire time.
(Photo by Jimmy!! This spot kinda made us feel like we were in NY. My fav part of the night was this little girl next to us viewing the city who said to her mom "OH MY GOSH look at that bridgeeeee - it's SO cute!" The way she said it was literally the cutest thing and anyone who describes a bridge as "so cute" just gets me man. )
- People at restaurants / stores aren't warm/ outgoing at first but once you buy something / ask them something they were all very kind & appreciative!
- Most people spoke very little or no English that we encountered but it wasn't that hard bc English was still allll over the place & you realize how much you can communicate w point, gestures, etc. a thumbs up is universal peeps.
(Tokyo's Eiffel tower!! Such a pretty view of the city at night!)
- Who knew Japan had such pretty fall trees in the midst of 203545974637 massive buildings?! Not I! Also look how cool their cabs are!!! Jimmy pretty much took a picture single time one passed us LOL
- This prob sounds like another weirdo thought of mine but being in Tokyo made it real to me that people really do live completely different lives than I do. It's so easy to get stuck seeing the world only through the way you live. I loved getting to expand my perspective!!
We ended our trip with a trek out to see the RWB shop where Nakai builds wide body Porches! My fav was this purple one!
We were sad to leave Tokyo. We pretended it was our home so much that it started to feel like it really was. We didn't have high expectations for our next destination: Abu Dhabi, but we're ready to keep adventuring!