So my first full day in Japan consisted for four main things:
- Walking around Tokyo in the morning.
- Going to Tokyo Tower.
- Going to the Tokyo International Anime Fair at Big Sight.
- Going to the Hard Rock Cafe.
The way this was explained to me: you park your car in the spot there. The bar raises up so (1.) your car can’t be stolen and (2.) you can’t drive away until you pay your parking fee.
Like I said: alternate dimension.
The whole place feels like a cross between Chicago (mass transit visible as it navigates between buildings) and New York City (structures all over the place with hundreds of small shops on every block.) The city element that is wholly NOT America, though, is the noise. Both Chicago and NYC – and any major U.S. city I have been too – are SO much noisier than Tokyo. People here are so quiet. You don’t feel bombarded by noise everywhere you walk. It’s really refreshing… in a creepy science fiction movie kind of way.
All kidding aside, it’s amazing the amount of respect shown to each other by Tokyo’s population as they walk around their city. It’s not silent, but it sure as hell isn’t “noisy.”
Here are other things of note from my jaunt around town yesterday morning:
This is a billboard in Shinigawa Station. It’s for “American Meat.” There are thousands of jokes that can be made from this, but the truth is sometimes even funnier. It’s real and it has a website: www.americanmeat.jp.
This is my metro card for riding the rails and public transportation (which includes the subway and monorail.) YES IT FEATURES A PENGUIN BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME!
Red Bull comes in cans about two thirds the size of American ones. Can you imagine if a Japanese man or woman (typically of smaller stature) if he/she tried to down one of our giant over sized Red Bulls? I don’t think “hyper” would quite cut it as a description…
Yes – Tommy Lee Jones sells canned coffee drinks on vending machines in Japan. No, I can’t make this shit up. It’s real.
I’ll tell the rest of the tales later. For now, I’ve got to shower, get dressed, and see a man about a Big Effin’ Robot near Big Sight.
I leave you, though, with my traumatic run in with Pikachu: