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Last year, Nicholas won a trip to Tokyo on our InsideAsia Tours Facebook competition. From unusual locals to unusual food, here are his first impressions of the capital.
First time in Tokyo
My favourite thing about Tokyo is the locals – probably the most hospitable people I have ever met! We were never made to feel that our lack of Japanese was an issue or problem. In fact, Tokyo residents were pleased to interact with us and made us feel welcome in every situation.
There was one local we came across who walked a pig like a pet dog down the middle of the street. Not a regular occurrence at home but relatively normal in Tokyo!
Trying Japanese cuisine was our most unusual experience. There’s a huge variation of food that I’d never tried before and the smell, texture and colour saw us eating all day long!
The way in which the Japanese eat is quite remarkable. We visited several restaurants where you remove your shoes and sit down to eat on the floor. Many restaurants were too small for tables, so we were served standing up, but the service was still fantastic and the food great too.
Our brilliant tour guide Steve Parker made our trip very special with his extensive knowledge and guidance at the beginning of the trip. He planned a comprehensive tour of the must-see sights of Tokyo giving us some amazing experiences. From views from the 202m high Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, and numerous temples and shrines, to the chaotic Shibuya crossing.
Special mention goes to the electrical parade dreamlights at Tokyo Disney which was unexpectedly impressive.
Steve’s helped us put together an unforgettable few days exploring the Senso-ji Buddhist Temple, Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine and the legendary Tsukiji fish market.
Lasting impressions of Tokyo
The way in which everything functions so efficiently despite such a large population is unbelievable, and unlike most capital cities around the world, Tokyo felt extremely safe. This gave us the freedom of exploring without restrictions or worries at all times of the day.
Tokyo was one the most interesting and memorable cities I have ever visited; as well as having an amazing culture and cuisine, I can’t think of another city where the residents are so friendly and welcoming towards tourists. I would, without doubt, go back to Japan.
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