Tokyo, a definite destination on many travel bucket lists!
After travelling back home from my student exchange in Seoul I wanted to visit another country in Asia before flying back to Europe. So me and four other exchange students booked an Airbnb in Nippori and flew to Tokyo to be there for Christmas and New Year.
11 days in Tokyo was sick and I even got sick. Having the flu in Tokyo held me back a day or two but still we experienced a lot. We visited an owl cafe and a maid cafe (more about it later) and an art museum. Moreover we travelled to Yokohama to spend a day there and it was beautiful as well. So much to see and learn (where is there not, though…) and one day I will go back to Japan to explore more.
Now for the things I miss and that I do not miss about Tokyo.
6 things I miss about Tokyo
They say you should always give the good news first. And for Tokyo I think there are far more good things than negative things. The six best things are as follows:
The heated toilet seats
This is something I miss embarrassingly much. I mean, who likes sitting on an ice cold toilet seat?! NO-ONE! That said, the Japanese have this under control. The seats are heated and you can put on “privacy” sound (which often is sound of flushing). There also is a bidet function, which means you do not need to use toilet paper.
The sushi and ramen
Oh man. I love the sushi places where you just order in on the tablet on your seat and the food comes to your seat when ready. First and foremost for a shy Finn to order food, ordering through a tablet is genius.
As for the ramen. I thought I had good ramen in Seoul but it is something else in Japan.
That you can be however you want
It does not matter if you are on a mid-day walk, going to work or going on an anime convention. In Tokyo I got the feeling that you can be whatever/whoever/however you want. No-one looks weirdly at you there. So it is a good and free place to live (with almost 10 million other people).
The bar culture
For this there is two reasons. We went to the Golden Gai in Shinjuku. There they have streets of bars that only can fit five people. So you sit there, get acquainted with the bar tender and the other people while having a drink. Quite different and very cosy!
The other thing about the bar culture is the all you can drink concept. Often to be able to get the all you can drink, you need to order at least two dishes as well. Here again, it is much fun to scroll on the tablet and order what you want.
Vending machines everywhere
Thirsty? Hungry? Just walk a bit and you will find another vending machine. They have the basics as coke and tea but if you want to try hot sweet corn, you can get this in Tokyo as well.
Honestly, while living in Seoul I did not notice the air being polluted. But coming to Tokyo in late December I really felt that the air was fresh. Remember this is for how I compared it to the previous place I was in and therefore gave made me realize it. Again, compared to Seoul, there was no sewage smell – the air was fresh and nice.
3 things I do not miss about Tokyo
No place is perfect so here are three things I do not miss about the capital of Japan.
The confusing and expensive subway
Many different lines and different companies running the lines was somewhat confusing. To be fair I came from Seoul, where they are praised for their subway, so my standards were quite high. And it was funny to come back to Finland where there was so much trouble to extend one line… But back to Tokyo. I did not get to see when they push people inside the subway to fit all the people but I hear it happens during rush hour.
That “one size fits all”
One size – in Japan – fits all shapes and sizes? How about a long noooo. There are hundreds of super cute skirts and shirts but sadly none of them could fit me so I had to leave them there.
But if you like a more preppy/cute style I would recommend to go to a store called Ingni. Very cute and affordable clothes. And the stores are easy to find in most of the malls I went to.
Manga and anime every-freaking-where
This coming from someone who is not a big manga and anime fan but still have read and watched some. Travelling with my friends led to us going to many of anime stores with floors and floors of cute or sexy animated characters. Of course I wanted to see this part of the culture as well, but there came times when the animated characters became too much for me so I just wanted to go to a rock bar and drink beer. (Ended up at a jazz bar and drank wine, so close enough).
That was the end of the 6 best and 3 worst things about Tokyo in my opinion. Have you been to Tokyo or do you want to go? Let me know your experiences in the comments section – hope you enjoy(ed) it as much as I did!