March 20, 2009

Day 072 : Tokyo

This morning I bought an one day unlimited ride metro pass and hit the city. I actually ended walking almost everywhere. It's really the best way to get the sense of a place. I'm staying in an area called Jimbocho. It's famous for having a large number of book vendors. Too bad most of them are in Japanese...

The first metro stop I decided to get off at was called 'Tokyo' - go figure! I roamed around until I hit the Ginza area, at which point I thought I was back in New York City.

I was a little bored with the flashy five-star stores, so I got out of there pretty quickly. I basically spent the day wandering around without a map. If I saw something I liked, I headed straight for it. The great thing about this city is that you can walk everywhere, get lost, yet easily find your way in an efficient manner. The metro is everywhere, so I knew that if I just kept walking I was bound to run into a line at which point I would re-orient myself.

At a certain point I began wondering where the heck all the people were. I had spent the entire morning roaming around the streets of Tokyo, and to my surprise it was extremely quiet and empty (maybe I'm just used to the chaos that I've experienced in NYC, Vietnam and India, who knows). Later in the afternoon I took the metro to the Omote-Sando stop where I found people...

Lots of people...It wasn't nearly as bad as it looks though. The crowd and experience walking through it was rather organized and peaceful. No pushing, no yelling, no groping...quite a change from the norm!

There are drink machines everywhere in the streets.

Interesting surface treatment.

A cool little cafe/art gallery that drew me in for an afternoon coffee.

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