Nivi's Adventures

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Konnichiwa Tokyo!

So in my usual travel-as-much-as-possible style, a week after arriving in London after the Egypt & Jordan trip, I was off for a week in Japan! I was a little apprehensive about my non-existent Japanese skills but I figured if I could manage in Brazil, I'd probably be OK in Japan...

And manage I did - I would have preferred being able to speak the local lingo, but it's amazing how far pointing & gesturing with generous sprinkles of sumimasen (excuse me) and arigato (thank you) can get you!

So Japan was completely amazing and unlike anywhere I've been before. It was weird cos I usually expect countries in Asia to be developing nations but Japan isn't. However they seem to have really high number of labour intensive 'tasks' in the streets of Tokyo. For instance lots of people sweeping up leaves in parks and if there is any construction going on there are at least 2 people standing if high visibility vests directing pedestrians on where you are meant to walk - even though it's very clearly marked out and you're in no danger of anything falling on you!

Japanese people seem to be very very respectful and polite and if not overtly friendly, once you approach them for help, they will definitely try and help you out :) So all in all, an amazing time - and Tokyo had by far the BEST public transport I have ever experienced - so clean, efficient and frequent! Anyways, here are some pics from Japan...

Fish at the Tsukiji Outer Fish Market. Leaving the hostel at 7:30am, we were too late to see the fish market proper, so the outer market had to do

One of the numerous tiny 'restaurants' by the fish markets

One of the little side streets near Ginza. Check out the long vertical sign boards - each square is a shop that's in the building the sign is attached to. Pretty high density stuff!

Ginza - quite an upmarket part of Tokyo with shopping I could only dream of affording!

The Sony building with lots of cool gadgets to drool over :)

Part of the brilliant metro system. I mean just look how straight forward this sign is!

Ron Weasley look out - a giant spider at Roppongi Hills

Mori Tower

Just across the way from the big Mori tower is this rustic water feature...

...complete with a little cutie pointing out the fishies to his mum

Looking down onto the outdoor area

Shinjuku station - the worlds busiest station, handling more than 2 million passengers a day! That's more than half of NZ's population!

You're not in Egypt now Dr Ropata! A bookshop in Tokyo with a photo of some Egyptian bas relief! Trippy!

Smoking areas. You're not allowed to walk and smoke in Tokyo so they have some designated areas for smokers. Such a change from the stoopid UK where you can still smoke indoors!

Tokyo Station - The Marunouchi side which faces the Imperial Palace

Tokyo Station again...

Shibuya! Lonely Planet suggested arriving in Shibuya after dark "to find the Tokyo of your dreams" - they were totally spot on! It was amazing; millions of people, bright neon lights, video billboards - totally what you expect when you think of Tokyo!

Just looking at the volume of people at the Shibuya crossing was mind blowing

It was so surreal to be walking through here - I kinda had to keep telling myself that I was really in Tokyo!


  • Wow you certainly kept your Japanese trip quiet missy! How cool! You really are such a jet-setter! It looks amazing - I'll add that to my list of places to see one day! :-)

    By Blogger Bex, at 4:23 am  

  • You know I just realised that you only need to go to Antarctica to have been to every continent?

    By Blogger Rachael, at 1:01 pm  

  • Can I come to Antarctica too? I love those crazy dancing penguins :-)

    By Blogger Craig, at 3:22 pm  

  • Yeah sorry bexy - I had to keep the Japan trip quiet because it meant I would arrive in NZ much earlier than I had planned and wanted to give a couple of people a surprise! But as for not getting round to blogging sooner - that's just me being slack, sorry.

    And Rach, I've def thought about Antartica! A guy from work went on a trip and showed us the photos. I was sooo jealous - I want to play with penguins even if they don't dance!

    By Blogger Nivi, at 3:11 am  

  • Oh you can count Johnny and I in on a trip to Antartica - we have just been talking about that recently and thinking it would be awesome! :-)

    By Blogger Bex, at 4:19 am  

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