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Tokyo, Japan

I’ve arrived at the NRT airport and took the NRT express which goes directly to Shibuya. After an hour train ride, I’ve arrived it Shibuya. Living in a really diverse city like Los Angeles I thought I won’t feel like a foreigner as I have many Asian friends. But that was not the case at all. During the 4 days I’ve spent in Tokyo, I’ve only seen less than a dozen white people. It felt so weird to be the only one who’s so obviously a tourist. And it was like a door to another universe. Everything was in Japanese, buildings were all tall and connected to each other and everything was so different. First thing I’ve realized is the building that first two floors are train station, dozen floors above is a shopping mall and there is a company based on the floors above that. And even the ground shakes when the trains move added on top of the earth quakes they constantly have. Japanese people really does impress me with everything they do!

Everything was so shiny. My flight was 4 hours delayed so I arrived really late night. I went directly to my hotel to take a rest. Next day I’ve woken up at 4am due to jet lag. I’ve walked around Shibuya. So many shops and amazing streets. After walking few hours, I’ve stopped by my hotel to have some Japanese breakfast. There was a big piece of fish for breakfast. Even though I was surprised, it was delicious. Later I’ve met with my friend. We went to Harajuku. It’s a city with many restaurants and shopping malls. We went to Ootoya restaurant and had some delicious food. From there we went to the Meiji Shrine and Yogi park. There’s not much to do but a nice scenery. From there we took the subway to Ginza. It’s the most luxury city in Tokyo.  It’s full of really fancy shops with super expensive luxury brands and stuff. There’s nothing to do other than shopping. We took the subway to Shimbashi. It’s a fun town with arcades. Then we went back to Shibuya to check out one of the biggest arcade centers. Japan is full of arcades. There are arcades with many levels and each having different games. It was so much fun. So many unique games that I’ve never played before. Also some of the games from my childhood that are still popular. I’ve played some piano game. It’s the piano version of guitar hero. It was so much fun. Later on we went to Shinjuku. My friend told me that you shouldn’t go to Shinjuku before 7pm. It is full of restaurants and arcades and bars and other fun stuff to do. We had some yakitori which is grilled meat on skewers. It was of course delicious as usual 🙂

The next day I’ve woken up at 4am again. I’ve walked from Shibuya to Daikan-Yama and from there to Ebisu and took the subway back to Shibuya. Met my friend around 8.30am and went to Tsukiji fish market to eat some fresh sushi. The chef put some ginger in front of me and I’ve finished it before he realized. He put some more and again I’ve finished it. The next time he realized he just laughed and kept filling my plate with ginger as I kept finishing it. The fishes were so fresh and so tasty. I ate so much sushi that I was barely able to walk or breath.

From there we went to Asakusu. Old traditional buildings with a lot of souvenir shops. Small streets with many tourists and shops. There were also a lot of big temples from old times. They’re still kept modern and stable. Before entering them, you need to fill a cup with some water, wash your left hand first, then right hand, then clean your mouth and then wash the cup holder part with the remaining of water. There was also a place to throw a coin, applause and then thank to the elder. I really liked all the traditions and how they’re being kept up to date. Right before leaving we’ve seen an owl café. Japan has a lot of creative concepts like cat, dog and owl cafes. We got to play with owls and pad them and get a lot of photos. They are such cute animals.

From there we headed to the sky tree. It’s the tallest building in Tokyo with an observation floor. We went to the 350th floor and watched the non ending Tokyo buildings. They were so many and endless. They also had a part made out of glass that you can walk on to see the height underneath. Of course I didn’t miss the chance to sit and jump over there. Only problem was while I was sitting some guy stepped on the other side of the glass and the glass moved. You can imagine the feeling when you realize the glass you’re sitting on is actually moving and you’re super high from the ground. We stopped by Ueno after that which is a small town with delicious sushi. We sit in a sushi restaurant under the train rails and every time the train passed the whole building was shaking. But everybody acted so normal that I just thought it’s a normal thing. All I can do was just to trust at Japanese architectural skills which to be honest is super stable.

We headed to Sotokanda which my friend kept telling it’s a geek town. All the geeks in Tokyo meets over there. There are many arcades and weird stuff that can be found nowhere else. We stopped by a maid café there. It’s a concept that you get in and there’re maids serving you. You pay to get in and also one drink minimum is a requirement. We went in and couple maids surrounded us. They’ve put some cat thing to our head, then started singing for us and doing some special show. It was fun but not sure why would anyone go there except if you’re a tourist.

We went to Tokyo station afterwards and just sat in front of the station. It’s a really nicely designed building made completely out of bricks. This is one of the few brick buildings in Tokyo. It has a really big space in front to just sit and chill. It’s surrounded by really tall high rises. From there we went back to Shibuya to rest. After walking 50,000 steps on average my feet couldn’t take any more pressure. After resting a bit I’ve went down to grab a beer but was so tired, went back to bed as soon as finishing my beer.

Last day was rainy, so we didn’t want to get far. We first went to eat sushi at Genki sushi in Shibuya. It was amazing as usual. There were no waitresses, nobody talking to you. It was all automated. You put your orders in from a screen and there’s an automated tray that brings the sushi to you. Then it takes it back when you click Ok.  From there we went to a library that has beds and unlimited drinks for 1500 yens. It’s an amazing concept that you can chill and drink and read. We went to the arcades in Shibuya for one last time to enjoy them.

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