Tokyo - The Most Exciting City in the World

by Alma
(Tokyo, Japan)

My fabulous Tokyo adventure started when I was 20. I was traveling around the world, but I fell in love with Japan and the Japanese people, and decided to stay.

I lived in Tokyo for a couple of years, learned to know and love the Japanese culture. I didn't know a word of Japanese. I didn't even know how to ask for directions. Luckily I also didn't guess what was in their soups (I was a vegetarian back then).

I survived all these little obstacles, and learned to appreciate a very unique culture, not comparable to any other part of the world.

The most exciting part of traveling in Japan is just wandering around, ordering at Tokyo restaurants where you can't recognize a single thing on the menu, discovering a small neighborhood Shinto shrine and making conversation with the locals.

Well...maybe conversation is a taking it a little too far...English is a rare virtue in Japan. You get a lot of embarrassed giggles when you ask something in Japanese. That is not to say that the Japanese don't want to help. Locals will go out of their way to help you when you ask for information. In fact, they will probably stop walking to wherever they were heading, and lead you all the way to your wanted destination or at least nearby to where you can see it.

Women visiting the city generally feel very safe. Japanese men never stare at women and are usually very embarrassed to make eye contact, so traveling by yourself is very pleasant.

I usually feel that I can walk around safely everywhere, including the Tokyo subway. Of course you always have to use your common sense, but there are very few 'rough' areas in Japan.

One of the most fun facts about Japan is that personal belongings accidentally left behind are generally turned in to the local police station.

If you have a problem during your vacation figuring out Japanese money just hand it over to the store clerk, the taxi driver or the waiter. You can expect them to be honest, and return the exact amount of change.

Finding a specific address in Tokyo can be a struggle. One of the most frustrating things in Tokyo is that streets have no names and the buildings are numbered in the order in which they were constructed. The reason is the destruction and aggressive development that the city has gone through over the past 75 years. It's extremely unlikely that any two buildings in a given street will have consecutive numbers.

Tokyo is my second home, but I still think it's the most interesting city in the world (excuse me New York). So I decided to use my knowledge and became a virtual Tokyo guide to the many tourists arriving in this magical and mysterious city.

Today my love and admiration for all things Japanese, and my knowledge of Tokyo come together in my Tokyo Attractions site (www.tokyo-top-guide.com), and I hope these tips on Japan travel help you enjoy a safe and relaxed visit!

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