Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Travel Article - Tokyo

The first thought that strikes you when you arrive in Tokyo, Japan, is wondering whether you have arrived to the city of toys or not. It is a feeling of being in a whole other world, like a part that you never knew actually existed. As me and my family entered the center of the city I couldn’t place this in any of my own references. The futurism reminds you of a world like the ones in the animated childrens movies. With big neon lights on every facade, the foggy air full of mumble and the glittering airline lights on top of the buildnings like rubins in the night.

It’s hard to describe this overwhelming and colorful city, you will basically have to go there to realize how crazy it is. One of the most remarkable things though, is the cleanliness that is in the city. There are no such things as graffiti to be seen anywhere, no, the city and the people are all very neat.

The first morning in Tokyo I felt a little awkward, the cleanliness made it hard telling if I was indoors or outdoors. Walking down the street and noticing it is so clean you could almost take a nap right there on the pavement, is a very different feeling for a european. Another rather big difference among the japanese people compared to swedes is that everywhere you go in Tokyo you get very well treated and people in general are so polite and helpful.

If you go to Tokyo, make sure you make it to the old Asakusa Temple. Walk along the street leading to the temple and see the small genuine sushi restaurants and lamps made of rice paper that sways with the wind.

Another thing that made a great impression on me was visiting the Yoyogi Park, the big public park in the middle of Tokyo. This is where the new and the old meets. We came across a very traditional wedding with girls dressed in kimonos and ancient wooden clogs and crisp rice paper umbrellas. At the same time, very extremely costumed punk youngsters in platform shoes and masks where hanging around other areas of the park. During a weekend stroll in the park you will also meet young japanese families with their cute kids all dressed up like dolls in colorful kimonos and beautiful details. So many cultural expressions all in one place, and all accomplished in a very thourough and precise way. Whether you are an old antique dealer or a pink haired rocker there is a place for you in Tokyo. Everyone with a creative job or interest in design and architecture or contemporary art will find Tokyo being major source of inspiration. Take the big fashionhouses for an instance, they build their own buildings and give their brand a very strong prescence and expression, which makes shopping a true delight.

You do not see as many high rise buildings in Tokyo as in other major cities. That is partly due to the fact that Tokyo is in a risk zone for earthquakes and all buildings need to be very well built to withstand. Tokyo is a dynamic city that is constantly changing. For example the average life time of Tokyo buildings is pretty short, around 26 years.

This article is now about 600 words long and I feel like I have not even started, there is so much more to tell. I do hope you all see the magnetism and affection of this city and understand me when I say that Tokyo is definitely a place to return to. Not only am I myself looking forward to the next trip to Tokyo, my body and mind does too. Cause never have I felt so healthy and good as I did when I was in Tokyo.

1 comment:

  1. Really, really good writing alice. You clearly tried to use language to describe the sights and sounds and feelings. And you succeeded.

    A few language points below.

    1. "arrived to the city of toys" > arrived in ..

    2. "the animated childrens movies" > animated children's movies (No 'The' needed)

    3. "rubins in the night" > Not sure what "rubins" are.

    4. "the cleanliness that is in the city" > the cleanliness of the city

    5. "a european" > Capital E for European

    Same with Japanese and Swedes.

    6. "lamps made of rice paper that sways" > lamps .... sway

    7. "find Tokyo being major source of inspiration" > Not "being" just "is a" or even just "a"

    7. "the new and the old meets" > meet (new + old = they)

    8. "very extremely costumed" > Extremely cannot be "upgraded" by Very.

    9. "fashionhouses" > two words

    10. "very well built to withstand." > very well-built to withstand them.

    11. "Not only am I myself looking forward to the next trip to Tokyo, my body and mind does too" > .... am looking ....... body and mind are too.

    12. "Cause never have I " > Because .....