Everything is going better than I could have hoped for. I wouldn’t exactly define Tokyo as exotic, but it is definitly a different world. Similar in many ways to a typical American metropolis (with the obvious oriental twist) but much more technologically avanced. Excellent public transportation makes getting around is easy and it’s much cheaper than I imagined.
Everybody I meet, including strangers on the street, have been extremely friendly. If they don’t speak basic English, my phrase book has been enough to communicate what I need. There are quite a few people around wearing respirators, but they seem to be the ones coughing and sneezing into them. I keep wondering if the’re being polite by not spreading their colds to others, or if they’re simply germaphobes?
I’ve already showed up at the wrong subway station (my fault… read the wrong stop in my guidebook) and missed a bus because I was late surviving, but surviving here is far from dfficult. The last blunder was lucky enough to find me a free high-speed internet connect which I’m using to type this post. There are a lot of kanji (Japanese/Chinese writing) signs around, but all of the important information is also in romanji (english writing).
Despite all of the warnings about Japan being expensive, I haven’t encountered it. My hostel for the night was about $25 and it only cost about $20 so far for three meals and a few snacks (all of which were absolutely delicious). There is definitely an abundance of vending machines. This morning’s hot coffee came in a can from one earlier today for about a dollar.
I wish I had more time to explore the city and take photos, but that will come later. Now I’m in Fuji Go-Ku, about 15min from a farm at the base of Mt. Fuji. If everything goes well, this will be my base of operations for the next couple months while I expore the central Honshu region.
I think it’s snowing outside, and I’ve got a bus to catch. Later!
Tags: Asia, Japan, Japan: Toyko, Tokyo