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My first observations after moving to Japan

Living and working in Tokyo is extremely exciting!


As soon as I moved to the city 2 years ago (to work in a small Japanese startup), I expected a hectic urban jungle dominated by concrete and skyscrapers, but I realized that modern architecture can have a symbiotic relationship with breathtaking nature. There are so many parks and tiny hidden gardens in each neighborhood. In addition to that, people plant trees and flowers practically anywhere. As I started working immediately upon my arrival, I didn’t have much time to get to know my new surrounding. Therefore I decided to run in the mornings in order to get the first touristic glimpse of the place. I loved passing by Meguro River’s cherry trees that were just about to start blossoming (I moved there in March, best time to see Japanese nature in all its glory).



Some parts of Tokyo are quite hilly, which gives it a various landscape.

I was impressed how every house is so different from another – you can find traditional old houses squeezed between the urban monstrous skyscrapers and little balconies with plants, statues, drawings, well anything and everything...  The architectural variety really gives the wonderland feel to the city and especially when the buildings are swimming in the sun, there's nothing else to do but feel happy and absorb the atmosphere. There are many things to explore, the food is just magical (if you know how to order or cook it), and most importantly - the beer is great!

 

What I like doing most is exploring Tokyo’s diverse neighborhoods full of specialized shops and tiny restaurants.

From Kappabashi Dori (kitchen town with shops that sell restaurant equipment), Yasukuni Dori (perfect for sports enthusiasts), Shimokitazawa (bustling with hip shops and cafes), Jinbocho (used books and vinyl records district) to Nippori (my favorite – fabric town), there are endless possibilities to choose from, and every place is fully unique. Tokyo is a very safe city, where walking, cycling, riding a moped/motorcycle or driving a car is enjoyable at any time, day or night.

 


Taking the train to one of the urban playgrounds like Shibuya and hearing crazy sounds coming from everywhere just dunks you into the groove of the place.

This is exactly what I find the most unique and interesting about Tokyo - the sound of the city. Information overload, everything is beeping, people are talking, there is music coming from every corner, screens showing commercials everywhere, buses promoting new girl band single release driving pass all the time... Which is very far from any European capital’s Sunday night medley.

 

So, what does your favorite city sound like?


Written by Una Softic

Global English 30 Jan 2014 at 09:22
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