I was in Tokyo last week. It was a real eye opener. There were lots of subtle cultural things to pick up on as well as some downright insane things. For instance - they stand on the left on escalators!!!
How mental is that?!? But actually it was really good. It was a fact finding mission with the odd touristy thing thrown in. One beautiful escapade was to a fairly minor garden in the general scale of things but still a pretty decent size - say two football pitches?
It was extremely odd to be in so beautiful a place with all these sky scrapers and traffic around you. You could zone it out though, and it certainly was very soothing. And soooo Japanese.
It was a very useful trip for me. I took in as much as I could and made quite a few observations that will help me prepare for a potential move there. One is the weather. We were on the edge of a cyclone for two days and it POURED with rain.
Umbrellas are a key part of everyone's outfits and are carried everywhere. Then there is clothing. Pretty much any style of dress goes but it always seemed to be demure and neat. Cleavage is a no no and it's not like I wave my potatoes around the whole time but a number of my tops I happily wear to work will not be suitable for general wear. Then there is the humidity. It was hot for the second two days and when it is warm it is amazingly humid so lots of cotton is called for. The outfits in which I can rock the what's-that-in-the-distance-pose in are currently limited.
Then there is the food. Sushi I'm down with. Choosing which fish will become that sushi...
Er nooo. Wimpy I know but we all have limits. Ice cream? Yes please! Sweet potato ice cream?
Er nooo. Pooch loved it though. And it is best not to develop a melon craving.
Melons are very expensive - watermelon especially. I'm talking about £12 for one of those pictured. They are commonly gift wrapped and taken as a gift when you are invited to someone's house for dinner.
Tokyo is an exceptionally noisy city. London doesn't come close. It has all the neon and videos of Piccadilly Circus but they all have audio attached.
Then there are trucks driving around advertising boy bands with their latest single blaring out.
Then the tube stations all play jingles when doors are opening, closing, trains are arriving, leaving and so on.
That is a lot of competing noise. Fortunately though I am not bothered by any of this so it is all looking good for the future.
Part 2 of this will include what I expect you will find least interesting - a small matter of craft shops..!