City skyscape photo that I took from Odaiba

Monday, December 17, 2007

Initial Impressions

I wrote my initial observations on Tokyo back when I arrived in July in both e-mails to my friends and family and in my journal. Here is a compilation of what I wrote:
  • there is tons to see, do, and eat everywhere
  • people at the train stations are in a HUGE hurry
  • people are very polite
  • people do not wear bright colors very often
  • things are always to be efficient
  • there is a lot of consumerism
  • people are quite fashionable
  • the food is delicious
  • the toilets are cool -- flush noises, sprays, seat warming, baby holders, squat toilets, emergency buttons even. But no paper towels...
  • the area where I work is cool [there is: a park with sports facilities, a library, a hospital, restaurants, large shopping mall, tons of bikes...]
  • there are not as many foreigners as I had imagined. Despite being a huge international metropolis, Tokyo is nearly all Japanese people. Maybe I'm more surprised on this one b/c, before Tokyo, the biggest city I had been to was NYC, which is probably the largest melting pot city in the world...
  • people are nervous to mess up English
  • the culture seems prescribed
  • guys seem mostly nerdy, while women seem mostly trendy
  • there is a lot of walking and using escalators
  • Tokyo is a huge city -- it sprawls as far as the eye can see from observation towers
  • Tokyo seems pretty ugly -- cement city
  • Tokyo is very clean
  • Tokyo has narrow streets that are not anywhere close to being on some sort of organized grid system
  • Tokyo is fun
  • Tokyo is intimidating
  • it will be very easy to spend the rest of my life's savings...

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