I’m not much of a sight-seeing gal in the sense of “ROBOTICALLY MUST SEE ALL FAMOUS PLACES IN MY GUIDEBOOK!” Rather, I dig the approach of wandering til your butt is near ready to fall off from the miles accrued, and seeing what happens along the way.
Today, after maybe or maybe not getting locked inside Shinjuku Park, I escaped (or maybe was free the whole time) and briskly meandered 5 miles more.
Here’s the beauty of Tokyo: with 2 ENORMOUS Subway and Train systems, nearly every few blocks are served by one stop or another. This means that if you clutch the two Tokyo train maps in your musty little hand, you will never, ever be lost, as long as you can calculate direction with a map, and as long as you don’t get too lightheaded from being starving cause you’re too scared to order food since all the signs are in Japanese (again, which may or may not have happened). Moreover, should you ever get fatigued, you can always just hop on the train for beddy-bye.
Another nice feature of Tokyo is, in the words of Mike, “Japanese folks think all foreigners are poor.” This means that when I stop to whip out my camera, no one tries to smack me in the face and steal my hip electronics, since they likely have better ones themselves. And also, that would be oh so uncouth, and (unless the businessmen have been drinking) this seems a HIGHLY couth society.
Anyhoo, I found Harajuku! Ring a bell? Here’s a hint: Gwen Stefani has a huge Harajuku fetish, and those cute Japanese girls rock out in the background of such Stefani music vids. In short: a Harajuku girl is a trendy, punky, sexy young Japanese teen. And I found their lair! A pic of the PACKED street is in the photo below. I mean PACKED to the gills with hip young girls. There was even a Claire’s cheap jewelry store!!!
I also passed a myriad of *bing, bop, bing!* video game/ slot machine arcade halls stuffed silly with businessmen letting loose. Rumor on the street is some Japanese folks have let their electronic life utterly take over their existence. Thank heaven that never happens in the U.S. ;)
Bottom line: Rainbow glorious photo ops all around. Woo hoo!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!
Sunday 1st of May 2016
I wander, but with purpose. I plan for things to see, but if along the way I spot something that interests me more, I change the game plan. Always have plenty of maps to hand and you can be very flexible. I don't wander hoping to pass something interesting - I head for something interesting, but wander off the path if enticed. At the end of the day, you will have seen at least one enjoyable thing.
Sunday 1st of May 2016
I like how you put that!
Tuesday 2nd of September 2014
Most of the time, I actually do that wandering thing myself :) It's great taking deep dips and really soaking up the atmosphere!
Thursday 14th of June 2012
They have too many signs and someone get a translator because I can't read the signs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday 26th of May 2012
I always love wandering around cities. Unfortunately, I don't think I wandered about Tokyo enough - not because my mind was mindlessly following the advice of a guidebook. But because I was seriously addicted to Shibuya. Anyway, some of my most fun moments in Japan took place when I was wandering around locales because I would either meet people or see some cool event.
Friday 13th of April 2012
WOW! The idea of just wandering around seems scary, dangerous, exciting, and fun! I will take my dad wandering in Japan this summer!