Location: Tokyo

Week: 1

Days Travelled: 4

We arrived in Tokyo as the first stop on our worldwide journey. It was certainly a challenge for 6 of us (my mum, her new husband Les, my brother Louis, his partner Luisa, Liv and myself) to navigate 6pm Tokyo rush hour with more than half a dozen bags, but eventually we made it to our house and settled in with a delicious array of meals from 7-11 (if you have been to Japan, you know what I mean).

To me, a lot of cities have a similar feel, even if their spirit is different.

The following few lines are my (attempted) artistic summation of Tokyo.

We awoke to a frosting of snow lightly dusting the suburban scape around us, young spring flowers drooping under its gentle weight.

Venturing into town, my family wandered around the seemingly endless array of shops as I sat in a park and wondered about Zen koans. The Harry Potter Museum was awesome, the Pokemon shop was lame.

We slurped udon, sampled sake without a clue what the kanji on the bottle read, snacked on sashimi and were pleasantly surprised by charcoaled eel in a tiny alleyway lit by red lanterns and flashing phones taking the same Instagram photos I was.

No matter where we were, Tokyo seemed endless and was just the same whilst being entirely different from any other city I have ever been in (for those of you who have been taught by me, you know I love a paradox). The timely trains are full of silent people staring at phones who won’t move to help you fit, yet the culture is almost painfully polite. It is bright and lively at all times and the cafe’s don’t open until 9am. It is the busiest city on the planet, but trying to get 6 people into an izakaya is borderline impossible.

We (Liv and I) are here for 3 months and I am fully aware Tokyo is the most urbanised and perhaps ‘least authentic’ part of Japan we will visit. And yet, it is Tokyo. It is a vibrant, buzzing, industrialised centre of modern Japan and an experience I think everyone should have in their lifetime, akin to going to New York or London or having your heartbroken.

Personally, I love it for what it is – as I do most places.

Our next stop is Mt Fuji and the five lakes, a real change from this concrete jungle of contrasts.

I can’t wait.

Until soon,

Zig xx