Japan – Tokyo Massive

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Thursday, 14 April 2016.

If you are looking to get lost somewhere, to rid yourself of the mundane and familiar, to break free from your daily routine, then Tokyo is the perfect place to be.

Although, everything in Tokyo is made to its most compact and efficient form, everything is indeed big in Japan, specifically, distance wise. It is easy to underestimate the distance between two districts by looking at the railway and subway map, it is better to also consult a standard map in order to gauge the actual scale and distance between places.

The toilets are a treat. From heated seats, to warm water bidet, it has functions that I have yet to figure out.

Sleeping on trains is a common sight, and I have closed my eyes for but not too long, for the fear of falling asleep and missing my stop. The locals must have some sort of internal alarm, due to habitual use.

I am not sure if it is just me, but whenever I stand still I sway slightly as if I am on a train. It might only happen when I am in a small space and I can only assume it is an after effect of being on the trains so much, coupled with prolonged air travel. I wonder if the locals still suffer from this peculiarity, probably not.

Bicycles. In Tokyo, bicycles are big. Not physically big, except maybe for the baskets in the front and baby seats at the back, but more like big as in “big in Japan”. It seems to me that half of the population, if not all, rides a bike to get around. There are even bike garages, where rows of bikes are parked, apart from the sidewalks that are lined with bikes, in the busier areas. An even more fascinating occurrence is that people leave their bikes, albeit mostly with a wheel lock, trusting that it will still be there when they return. I have tried this myself, after renting a bike for the day, and even leaving it on a busy Shinjuku evening, and found it right there where I left it, along with the hundreds of other bikes parked along side it on the pavement.

– Starr

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