Tokyo - Inexhaustible City
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
35Trip End Mar 28, 2010
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Tokyo struck me as a seemingly endless city. It has almost 20 different districts and a public transportation map which can make you dizzy just looking at it. I remember taking 1/2 a day merely studying the map and trying to figure out in which order I could "conquer" the city. Soon, I realized that I would have to pick and choose with the areas I wanted to see the most.
Here is a summary and my ranking of the districts:
2. Shibuya - It has lots of good restaurants and places to shop. Probably the most famous and frequented of all districts. Tons to see and one could easily spend a night walking around here. Amazingly I only spent money on food here.
3. Ueno - A hub for museums and is where I stopped in the Tokyo Met. It was full of local artists (even children's work). Nevertheless, I liked it because it was a change from the stuffy artists that I am used to seeing. A short walk through the relaxing park surprised me with cherry blossoms in early bloom and a trip through the "traditional Japanese" Ameyoko street yielded many gifts for family/friends.
4. Ginza - I saw new 3D tech. in the Sony Building showroom which would be interesting for a PS3. The Tsukiji Market was there too... a huge seafood market. I woke up early morning ~6am to see it and eat ultra-fresh (and ultra-expensive) sushi.
5. Odaiba - I visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and caught of glimpse of Asimo... not in action, unfortunately! I opted for an IMAX film on star gazing instead. Later I went to the Palette Town mall which was had a kitschy Las Vegas-style European interior architecture... but other than that it was interesting to walk through. Of course all the tourists had to take pictures. Again, I didn't buy anything and instead enjoyed the free Toyota showrooms and explanation on universal design. What made it also memorable was riding the metro across the Rainbow Bridge and catching a nice view of the city at night.
7. Akihabara - I went to the Electric City and Musical Instruments area. Nothing too fancy but I was able to find a decently priced 30 gig portable HD. Infamous for the maid cafes which I was convinced to visit. See upcoming entry on food for details.
8. Shinjuku - Nothing but frees view of the city... I got mine at the Sumitomo building on the 52nd floor although somewhere in the gov't building it was possible too. The station itself is massive and a maze to get through. The district is mainly for businesspeople so I only stayed for as long as I had to.
9. Roppongi - Supposedly an expensive area which I only walked through to get to the metro. I didn't like the place at all because it was ostentatiously marked for foreigners.
As I write everything out, I feel like I have seen all that I wanted. Hope that it can help someone decide on where he/she might like to go! =)