I always wanted to go to Japan. Among my favorite novels are Shogun and Gai-Jin by James Clavell which are set in historic Japan. My favorite video game franchises were created in Japan: Street Fighter, Zelda, Mario, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Pokemon, just to name a few. I love Japanese animes like Samurai Champloo, Captain Tsubasa, Record of Lodoss War, Dragon Ball, which will make a return after almost twenty years, and many more.
So I was very happy to go to Tokyo for one month to say the least.
I arrived with the start of the cherry blossom season which is a sign for the start of spring in Japan. It is a great time to see the gardens blossom and take long walks through the city. I always prefer to explore and observe a city by foot because there is enough time to get a feeling for a place. I walked around Tokyo for hours and checked out the traditional temples, Ramen-Noodle restaurants, japanese fan stores and the various gardens in Tokyo.
I immediately noticed how polite and accommodating everyone was when I chatted with people in the stores or asked them for directions. Many people would not let me go until they brought me to my destination personally. That is also how I found my hostel.
I stayed one month in a japanese guest house called YADOYA Guesthouse in the central and popular Nakano district where I booked a private room for a very reasonable price. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a budget place in Tokyo.
The plan was to release my language learning platform Quazzel within the next weeks so I booked a coworking space in the Shibuya district which is famous for being one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts, packed with stores, nightclubs and restaurants, serving swarms of visitors that come to the district everyday.
Shibuya is a center for youth culture and fashion, and its streets are the birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends and I really enjoyed working there.
The coworking space was filled with programmers and designer who were often even sleeping on their desks which was a good motivator for me to focus on the Quazzel Android app during the week and explore Tokyo on the weekend.
One of the best experiences was a scavenger hunt in the Akihabara district of tokyo that I found out about on meetup. Check it out for similar events in Tokyo. Ca. 15 people were split into two teams and had to solve tasks like taking a picture with a maid, building a human pyramid or kissing a bald japanese guy on the forehead which turned out to be the hardest part because we could not spot a lot of bald japanese people.
I had a great time and met amazing people during the game. One of my team-members wrote a bog article about the treasure hunt that you should read for details.
I really enjoyed going out and exploring in Tokyo and it always felt safe no matter which part of the city or what time it was.
Another great thing about Japan is the food. And there is a lot more than sushi. I particularly enjoyed the street food and traditional Ramen places where I ate almost every day. Have a look at this for a complete list of japanese dishes!
Summing up I had one of the best experiences in Tokyo and one month passed by really quickly.
I cant wait to come back to Tokyo for more Sake, Sushi, Sumo, Treasure hunts, animes and to meet my friends there again.
Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo
Scavenger Hunt in Akihabara
Coba coworking space
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