Of all the places I've lived in my life, I feel most at home in Tokyo. For those of you who've never had the chance to visit, Tokyo is a ginormous city, but also consists of plenty suburban neighborhoods too. I love the contrast between the crowded, bustling, noisy city, and my green and quiet neighborhood. Although recent crimes in Tokyo have caught the attention of International media, it's actually still quite safe. I have no problem walking around alone at 3 a.m. downtown. Here's a list of reasons of why I love Tokyo so much. I hope I'll be here for a while!
1. You can try food from all over the world, just because Tokyo is a huge melting pot. In addition to the regular 'exotic' food that's readily available like Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and Indian, we have Turkish , Iranian, West African, Moroccan, Cajun, Mexican food...and the list goes on and on.
My friends and I like trying out new food, and we often plan dinners at ethnically themed restaurants.
2. Old and New. I like visiting newer areas of Tokyo since they tend to have more upscale shops and restaurants, but sometimes I just want to wander around in a 'shitamachi'. The direct translation is 'downtown', but we usually refer this term to areas in Tokyo that haven't been developed to drastically since the bubble economy in the 1990's. My favorite 'shitamachi' is Shimokitazawa, a few stops away from Shibuya. It's a shopping district with narrow streets and backs alleys lined with thrift stores, boutiques, home decoration stores, and TONS of exotic cafes. All of these cafes serve yummy food, usually original recipes. Shimokita, as we call it, preserved the old-school feeling of a cozy Japanese neighborhood, so it's just relaxing to walk around. There aren't a lot of tourists in the area, so a lot of the menus are still only in Japanese (which I like). Shimokita also has some amazing graffiti and wall murals, like these:
This one must be on the wall of an 'okonimiyaki' joint.
And this one is for a pawn shop...hehe.
Check out more HERE. View from the station...
3. You can get just about ANYTHING you need in no time. For example, if you needed unsalted butter or mangoes, you can get it in 15 minutes, tops. Not like in the U.S. where everything takes 20 to 30 minutes to get to. Plus, you don't need a car to get around here.
4. Tolerance. The men may be weird about their sexual desires and how they go about it, deny it, suppress it, fantasize about it, and more....yet we're really open and accepting when it comes to homosexuality. I think that's awesome, period. Same-sex couples don't get jeered at, let alone attract much attention. They're pretty much left alone, to do as they wish.
I'll post more reasons Why I Love Tokyo soon...hope you enjoyed this one!