My stay in Tokyo is over, tomorrow I take the train north to Sapporo. I am both relieved to be out of the constant hustle and bustle of Japan’s biggest city and a little bit sad to leave it behind.
What stood out to me most here was not the scale of the city, or the modernity of it, but how friendly and helpful the inhabitants of the city I encountered were. Jay, my host for the first few days of my trip was unbelievably helpful to me. On the way to Jays place I got lost, and a Tokyoite who recognised a lost and tired tourist helped me find where I was going, even let me use his phone.
When I was trying to find the all important bicycle bag the store manager showed me each and every one, to make sure it satisfied the only parameters I could communicate to him:”big”. While I was standing on the corner of a busy crossroads at Shinjuku searching my guide for the page that had mentioned a foreign language bookstore in passing a Japanese girl speaking perfect English offered me directions to the store and then, as it was her lunch break, showed me the way herself and even asked the clerk where to find the foreign language maps.
This evening I visited Kagurazaka (pictured above) where the staff gave me an extra dish for free after hearing about the journey I was about to commence. And not five minutes ago the receptionist at my inn informed that it may not be able to full fill my request for a big taxi to the station tomorrow, but if that were the case they will drive me in the managers car.
For a city so large and populous I though my interaction with then native population would be brief and unremarkable. Tokyo and its people has left me pleasantly surprised. I can’t wait to see what the rest of Japan has to offer.