If you missed the first part of this Tokyo series of three you should check it out here —> Travel Photography – Tokyo (Part 1).
As I was saying before, Japan really surprised me. And some of the things people normally would say are cliches hit the nail right on the head. Probably true with quite some of cliches, for so many other things too.
Interestingly enough Tokyo is the cleanest Metropolis I have seen so far and I am not too sure how they pull it off. Especially when you compare it to cities like Berlin, Paris and New York, but also to a lot smaller cities. A second very interesting observation was that Tokyo felt very very safe at all times. Which, when you travel a lot mostly comes through your behaviour, but there was not one corner, street or anything that would have had a weird vibe. We might have missed those maybe, but you normally stumble upon them here and there. Ah well. Not complaining, not at all.
I have talked about this so much with friends and anyone that could not escape me babbling like a broken record, but it really is a interesting thing that we did not have one bad meal in 14 days in Tokyo. Of course
there were some places that were researched before etc., but we even kinda tried to go a bit dodgy and it didn’t work. Luckily! You get the feeling that whatever they do, they always do it to the maximum of their capabilities and that leads to a so much better result. And we are not talking about Japanese food only. Pizza, French pâtisserie, German bread and on and on and on. No matter if a multi starred Restaurant or a little corner booth or “fast-food”-chain store, the quality of food was impressively high. A fact that I really love about Tokyo (and probably Japan in general).
It might just be a feeling, but people seem to use the outdoors a lot more in Tokyo than for example in Germany. And I am not talking about shopping, but going to the parks and dedicated sports areas etc… school classes, photographers and painters everywhere. A lot more elderly people than I have ever seen anywhere. Out and about, photographing, painting and just enjoying the parks and so on. That was a beautiful thing to see. Weird how cultures differ and how certain things are handled and done so very very differently, even nowadays. A lot of people are always worried about globalisation and the loss of culture, language etc., but maybe it would be for the better. Melting down one culture after the other for the best and essence of it… which doesn’t mean you have to forget where you came from, though that has happened so often over time anyway.
Ok this went a bit off track I guess, but you get my point I guess.
Have I talked about how quite Tokyo is? I think so… and yes yes, I know it’s not all shits and giggles, but from our very limited experience compared to a lot of other trips it really was different and that left me very impressed with Tokyo. Just can’t wait to get back there. Of course I would love to see more of Japan than just Tokyo, but I feel a 14 additional days in Tokyo alone would have not gotten old. Visually alone there is so much to explore and find that even now I feel I missed a lot. I really took a very laid back approach shooting in Tokyo, compared to any other vacation or trip I have done in the past years, but besides that I would have loved to go back to many of the places we went to to explore and play with again and again. That goes for a lot of places in the world, but Tokyo has taken over my head. There is probably not a single day that passes by that I am not thinking about something related to our Tokyo trip. Culinarily, creatively and just the whole shabang.
For my next trip to Tokyo I will make a new and much more comprehensive list of things to check out. One of the things I was looking for the most, we did not get to do as the tickets were already sold out. I did not realize I could (and needed) to buy tickets for the Studio Ghibli Museum online and waaaaaaaay before hand. I knew you could get them at some of the ticket machines in some of the supermarket chains, but at the time we got to Tokyo it was already way to late a real shame. Our second big miss was Kyoto. We actually had a nice trip planned, especially as I wanted to get to the wonderful Bamboo Forests of Arashiyama. Long story short, there was a ticket mishap and it would have cost quite a bit to get the tickets we needed, so we decided to do it the next time we visit. As we are certain we will. Also it would be soooo good to get to Arashiyama when it is quite misty, just think of the photos you can shoot there. Ah well… next time. As far as my plans go… December 2016 looks like a MUST GO time next year. Why? Well… Tokyo Comic Con was announced just a couple of weeks ago. I think this might be the one Comic Con you really shouldn’t miss. We’ll see what happens.
For now enjoy the rest of the photos and let me know what you think. Even more importantly shoot me all your tips for a Japan and Tokyo visit into the comments or EMail or whatever. Really would love to gather as much cool stuff as possible.