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Tokyo!

January 9, 2013

Night Crossing

Guess where I have always wanted to go?

TOKYO!

Have only been here a couple of days and it is quickly taking the lead for my favourite big city.

It's so civilized! Clean, polite, whimsical, stylish, orderly, cute babies, beautiful ladies everywhere. Has great food, everywhere. Clean bathrooms, everywhere (and those fancy toilet seats). Shopping... everywhere.

Pedestrian Stripes

The transit is obviously amazing. We have the Suica Card, and used it to take the Narita Express into Shinjuku station - The busiest railway station in the world. Crazy, right?

Now, although you can obviously get everywhere on different modes of transit, I still find the MTR (HK transit system) easier to navigate. The system here requires some familiarization for a non-local, even for transit buffs like Don and myself. It's still very good, but we have to do a lot of double-checking.

HK system is super easy. Just a glance, and you're gone.

Now, in Tokyo I have seen so many ladies on bikes, and mamas on bikes, than anywhere else I have been. It's fantastic. I haven't been shooting while walking, but they're everywhere. Ladies that are dressed up in their everyday clothes that are what I would wear as semi-formal, young and old, pedaling away.

Hot mamas abound, with their kids in front, behind, and with groceries. It even appears to be normal to ride your bike while wearing your sleeping baby in a carrier. What freedom! No helmets. Everyone (cars, pedestrians, cyclists) just seem to know what they're doing. At no point have I seen anybody freak out at one another. There is an overwhelming degree of faith everybody has with these cycling mamas - and rightfully so. All that mamas I have seen appear to know exactly what they're doing, and are clearly experienced and comfortable with their bike and their route. Easy.

Like I said, it's so civilized. And I'm talking about in the middle of downtown too. Did you know that Tokyo (including greater Tokyo) is home to about 35 million people? That's about the same population as all of Canada. What?!

Mamachari

Good food too. Even conveyer belt sushi. It's taaaasty...

Down the Line

We went to Numazukou. It's a little out of the way of the main traffic down in Shinjuku Station, and it made us so happy.

Roll

It's super fun to watch the chefs, and pick whatever you want.

Lined Up

So far, Tokyo is not only living up to my expectations (which were high).

Alley 

Have you guys been? Do you love it as much as I do?

7 comments:

woodenmonkey said...

Any chance you'll be taking photos of biking moms in action (not that your verbal description isn't fabulous... just makes me want to see things).

Are cargo bikes of any nature part of the bike scene there?

Loving reading about your vacation!

Meika said...

That last little alleyway picture is my favorite. I love the little streets of Japan! My husband and I lived there for the first two years we were married - in Nagoya, not Tokyo - and how I miss it! So fun to see it through your eyes.

Leisha said...

Isn't it Great?!! Its so clean, so friendly, and fast to get around (gotta' love the JR line)! Good food, even better shopping - too bad it's half the world away or I'd go again in a heartbeat!

my hyggelig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
my hyggelig said...

I first fell in love with Japan when I went through the Nagoya Airport. I can't wait to go back someday and beyond the airports. I was just through the Tokyo Airport and longed to get beyond the gate.

Thanks for sharing about Tokyo, and your Asia visit. I was also just in China and HK
- so along with my desire to return to Japan, it has been fun travelling along with you!

Lindsay K said...

I spent a couple of days Tokyo last month and loved it! Did you notice that most of the bikes there weren't actually locked up? I was amazed that most of the bikes were just placed in bike racks or held up with their kickstands.

Melissa said...

Japan is where I first got interested in cycling as an adult, when I lived there for a year. I only visited Tokyo for a week or two, but I was really impressed by how well everything worked. It's a beautiful city. Your pictures make me want to go back someday :)

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