“Like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo looking for spare parts on the planet Xenon”
– The side streets of Akihabara, according to Peter Carey
What do I want to remember from Tokyo? Meeting up with Tia & Rune, crossing the Shibuya crossing and realizing halfway through that I was crossing the Shibuya crossing(WOOP!), meeting Marlene & Bent, spending half an hour trying to get out of Shibuya Station upon arrival to the city… There’s so much. I liked Tokyo. I liked it a lot.
I arrived in Tokyo late at night, close to 22.30, but had no worries. Japan is so safe and I was staying very close to Shibuya station, shouldn’t be too hard to walk to my hostel from there… So I thought… I spent half an hour just getting out of the damn station because it was so confusing. In the end I ditched any effort to find “the right exit” and just got the hell out, opting to check Google Maps when I found freedom. This helped only marginally as I ended up walking all the way around the station to find the anywhere near the direction of my hostel… I was so confused at this point in time, but I was actually having fun though (except for how heavy my bags were getting), so I was in goo spirits. I had also seen the sign for “Hachiko” – the statue of the famously faithful dog – so I was excited. I ended up not seeing the statue this night though because as more time went the more I just needed to get to my hostel.
After fumbling about I finally crossed a massive crossing heading in the right direction and halfway through it dawned on me: This was the SHIBUYA CROSSING OMGLOL!!!!11 I stopped mid-street to take photos and videos #Tourist101
In the end I found the hostel and checked in – found out it had a superb restaurant on the second floor (we’re talking worthy of Michelin stars… in a HOSTEL… welcome to Japan *lol*) and ate a five course dinner. Yeah. Budget travelling. Its awesome… Eh…
The second day in Tokyo I checked off another point on my list: The Cherry Blossoms in Japan. I managed to get out to the parks and see most of the trees in full bloom and it certainly was a sight. A bit of a bummer that the sun wasn’t out more, but I can’t really complain, it was really gorgeous ❤ Full of people, of course, and some spots were obviously popular picture spots, but I managed to sneak some shots in here and there. This was before I decided to walk to meet Tia & Rune, without a jacket, not realizing how cold Japan could get compared to where I was used to being… Let’s just say it turned a bit chilly when the sun went down…
Tia, Rune and I checked out the Golden Gai area which I proceeded to recommend to everyone I talked to about Tokyo after that. It’s an area covered with tiny bars, building to building tiny bars tat fit a small amount of people (between 8-15) and you shuffle in, drink and shuffle back out. I was glad I was with Tia & Rune because I don’t think I would bother going barhopping alone, but if I had I would’ve met people, no problem. We made friends at every place we went, it was awesome. Definitely a place I will return to if I make it back to Japan.
The next day I finally saw the statue of Hachiko. Realized quickly I had walked past it the first night, I was about 5 meters away… Well done… Then I met up with Tia & Rune again at Harry Hedgehog Cafe. It was a place I saw because I follow my girl crush Margot Robbie on Insta. She went there and posted about it and I saved the picture… as a travel tip… yeah… travel tip…
DUring our 2,5 days together we went to eat at the restaurant where you fish your own dinner, as Rune said “The freshest fish I’ve ever eaten” (he caught his first, I got my hook stuck in the ceiling, don’t ask…) – we went back to Golden Gai, I kissed a rubber chicken, we played “push the gator’s teeth” again and again and again (it’s a toy, you push the plastic alligator’s teeth down and one of them will trigger his maw to clam down and scare the crap out of you), I acted as The Great Enabler and helped Rune decide to buy gamer paraphernalia in the Akihabara district, Tia kept getting “hit on” by the café maids trying to get people to come to their cafés, like she said “do I look like I especially need love and care, or what??” and we ordered dinner from a vending machine.
After Tia & Rune left I spent a few more days wandering about the city checking the sights and got an unexpected bonus when I met up with Malene again! she and her boyfriend, Bernt Andre, came to Japan as a part of their own big trip and she contacted me asking I happened to be in Tokyo at the same time. I met her for the first (and only) time in Knysna, South-Africa last year and upon discovering we were both Norwegian we started talking, quickly realizing she knew my cousins back home(!) Crazy stuff… But we sort of stayed in touch on Facebook since then and managed to squeeze in a wonderful lunch in Tokyo too 😀
I loved Tokyo, it was crazier than Hong Kong, bigger and busier than most places I’ve been, cleaner than most places I’ve been (except for the cigarette butts on the smoker’s corners, bleh…) and just all sounds, colour, vibrance and insanity. It was pretty much how I envisioned it was going to be.