I’ve had the luck and luxury of traveling to Japan in my previous life for work. Those trips were intense, scary, interesting, and took me way out of my comfort zone. Hopefully they were also productive and meaningful for my past employer and for the Japanese folks I met and worked with when I was there.
When I traveled for work I met a lot of Japanese from my company who tried to teach me a bit about their country, their culture, and their way of doing things. Unfortunately for me, I was there, to a large extent, to try to get them to do some things differently, which didn’t always go over very well.
This trip was totally the opposite of work. I was there to learn and enjoy. I wanted to learn their culture, see their history, take in their architecture, and learn about their food – the way they cook, serve, and eat it. I was able to accomplish most of what I set out to do, and in addition I was able to spend time with an interesting Japanese person I’d met through social media who had a common interest in photography, Canada, and the Philippines.
I began the trip in a place that was familiar to me in name and by its rail station, but not much else. If you’re staying in Tokyo, it’s a place I highly recommend – Shinjuku. I am familiar with Shinjuku because it is a (the?) major commercial and administrative center in Japan and, as I understand it, has the busiest rail station in the world, named aptly, Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku is one of the liveliest areas of Tokyo for nightlife, lights, food, and shopping. Read more here…