Outside the Imperial Palace grounds

Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo!

Welcome to Tokyo!

I’m just back from Japan – the only country with its own emoji silhouette – after a short but productive work trip. As such, I didn’t have much time to do touristy things or take touristy photos, but I did manage to squeeze in visits to Yoyogi Park and the Shibuya crossing. I guess the stereotypes about Japan are obvious, but worth repeating anyway: people were wonderful and friendly, the trains and the subway are unsurprisingly fantastic, and bowing is woven into all social interactions. I liked it.

As a bonus, Robert and Julie – most notable for their Smoking Adapters travel blog – were kind enough to take me out in the evenings, and together we sampled lots of Japanese food (excluding anything with tentacles) from their favourite Tokyo spots.

One thing I wasn’t quite so thrilled about were the earthquakes. Over lunch with Vivek on Tuesday I experienced my first ever earthquake – nobody around us batted an eyelid – and then the next morning I was lying in bed when terra firma became noticeably less firm again. That’s not cool. We use the expression “on solid ground” for a reason. Although it is reassuring to see animated videos on the subway explaining how earthquake-proof it is.

With Kenji, Robert, Julie and Kosuke

With Kenji, Robert, Julie and Kosuke

There was a lot of this

There was a lot of this

A pretty accurate depiction of Tokyo's wonderful subway system

A pretty accurate depiction of Tokyo’s wonderful subway system

Outside the Imperial Palace grounds

Outside the Imperial Palace grounds

Side note: flying with United is usually a ‘perfectly adequate’ type of experience, but on the way back home they served up a katsu curry like they had actually read my mind and extracted its deepest wishes. Much appreciated. I also did my usual catching up on recent PIXAR films by watching The Good Dinosaur, but thought it was… well, ‘perfectly adequate’, but nothing great.

Matthew Hull, Sharon Dinkin, Amanda Schalk, Sue Buxton, Kayleigh Louise Thomas, Matt Montagano, Clarissa Louise, Julie Dietz, Beth Dubowe-Lawrence, Theron Humiston, Jason Zhou, Randi Lawrence liked this post

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Tokyo

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