A Short Residence in Tokyo 2014
Last year at the end of March, I moved from Gifu to Tokyo for a new job and what I thought would be a super rad first year of many in Tokyo. It didn’t quite work out that way when my visa renewal was declined, but obviously in the rush to move out of Japan by my temporary visa expiration date, I didn’t keep up here! So this week i’ll try to get caught up on the last year or so…
First off, Tokyo is amazing. It’d be easy to think it’s overrated, but it really has everything. The apartment I finally found was pretty reasonable, (one of the cheapest apartments in a city I ever rented, actually!), and in a perfect location. I could walk to the train in about 5 minutes, and that train would get me to Shinjuku within another 5 minutes, and bike or walk to the crowded and popular Shibuya within 10 or 25 minutes respectively. Shibuya is where you would find the Shibuya Crossing that never goes un-photographed, and the Hachiko dog statue. Yet with so much nearby, I could also walk a couple blocks and find small neighborhood parks that were quiet and peaceful. I could see a million stars on clear nights, see butterflies enjoying the flowers, and hear birds chirping.
Tokyo has great zoos, museums, restaurants, parks, shopping, and basically anything else you could want. If you get a chance to go, you should definitely do it!
I could go on for hours about how awesome Tokyo is, and I only lived there for about 3 months, but instead I’ll just add a few pictures & leave it at that! Also, should you go to Tokyo, EXPLORE IT BY BICYCLE! Speaking of bicycle, here’s a picture of the bicycle that I bought in Tokyo. I chose all the colors of each piece of it, and it was the best bicycle EVER!! Not only did it fit me better than any bike I’ve owned before, but it was a ton of fun to ride around and even just to see.
I joined the Pedal Night for a group bike ride through Tokyo on a perfect Saturday night. There was at least 20 of us on the ride, maybe more. I think by the time I rode from my apartment to meet the group, went on the group ride from Roppongi to Asakusa and from the end point back home, it was something like 30+ miles. We started in the early evening, and went through sunset, and finished up at night. We stopped for rests/photos, etc. at the Imperial Palace grounds, Tokyo Station, and near a pond somewhere I still have no idea where we were. Most of the group was going to a bar to socialize afterwards, but seeing as how I had worked that morning & returned from an international flight the night before, I could barely keep my eyes open anymore. I grabbed some coffee at a convenience store, loaded it with sugar and rode home, part of the way with a new friend who was going the same way & we were equally low on cell battery and unsure of where exactly we were going. So we took turns checking the map on our phones at various points to be sure we were headed the right way, and eventually we found ourselves back in Shinjuku and could each find our separate ways from there.
See the tall bike on the left? I got to try riding it around the paved area at the Imperial Palace grounds on one of our break spots.