Last Saturday morning we arrived in Tokyo. After a night flight of six hours and little sleep, we still had enough energy to explore the city. We immediately jumped on our bikes and got a good impression of this city.
After three days in Japan, we didn’t get the idea that this is a city with more than 36 million citizens. The subway was quite quiet, in contrast to Bangkok where you breathe in at least three people’s faces. In Tokyo, we can sit most of the time and also on the streets the crowds are not that bad. Until Monday when we arrived in the district ‘Shinjuku’.
Back to Saturday where we went out by bike. There are many points throughout the city where you can grab a bike. First, you have to register on a website and then you get a code sent to you after which you can open the bike. Very easy and an additional advantage: they are electric bikes and that makes the hill just a little bit easier. Well after six months in Malaysia you become lazy.
On Sunday we took our favorite transport, this time to ‘Yoyogi Park’ for the ‘Super Yosakoi’. Every year on the last weekend of August there is a huge parade in which the district ‘Meiji Jingu’ is honored. More than 100 dance groups, both young and old, participate in this parade. Everyone wears the most beautiful clothes and behind the group is the flag bearer. He has an important and especially heavy role.
This weekend was another party, because in the district ‘Roppongi Hills’ there was a festival going on, the ‘Bon Festival‘. In the middle of a shopping mall, in the arena, there was a square stage around which people were dancing. A nice party where everyone, even in kimono, moves around the stage in different kinds of dancing. Of course, we also joined the dance.
At the end of the afternoon, it was time to see ‘Shinjuku’. So we walked underground in 25 minutes to the madness of Tokyo. Everywhere you look you see colorful signs with advertisements, huge zebra crossings with thousands of people and restaurants. We really didn’t know what we saw and we haven’t seen this before in an Asian city. So much to look at, you’re at least 20 eyes short. The smallest restaurants you’ve ever seen, a shop with undersized puppies, a robot restaurant and countless gambling halls with earsplitting sounds.
We walked around here for a couple of hours and were glad to be able to get back on the subway to the hotel. I think we will go back here this week to have another look at it. Although it is such big chaos, it is organized chaos. The city is safe, clean and well organized with guards and agents who guide the traffic and show tourists the way.