In between taking care of everything I need to do to get myself established here – registering my residence card, signing up for phone and internet, getting a bank account, buying furniture and appliances, etc., I’ve had some free time, as I have not starting teaching yet. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to! (When I’m not inside, sitting in front of my aircon so I don’t die of heatstroke)
Tokyo’s Best Cat Café
Stopped by Neku Maru, which is apparently one of the best Cat Cafés in Tokyo. It was definitely one of the most random things I’ve ever done. It was basically just a room, with benches and chairs and cat toys, and a lot of cats, probably 25 or so. They acted like typical cats – not really interested in us. But, it was a fun experience. I get it – when the hustle and bustle of Tokyo becomes too much, it’s nice to just chill in a quiet room with some cats.
Conveyer Belt Sushi in Shinjuku
Picknick in Shinjuku Goyen National Garden
Edogawa Fireworks Festival
This festival was so crowded, but totally worth it. It took me about 20 minutes just to get out of the subway station because it was so busy. It was shoulder to shoulder. We made our way with the crowd to a big park with a perfect view of the fireworks. The show was very impressive. It went on for over an hour and had some of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen.
Shin-Ōkubo is Tokyo’s Korea Town. This area has a ton of Korean street food, karaoke, markets, restaurants and bars. This is where my real estate agent’s office is located, so I took some time to wander around. It was very lively, and I liked the vibe.
Shibuya & “The Scramble”
I’ve been to Shibuya a few times now, and every time has been just exciting and overwhelming as the first. Shibuya is one of the busiest areas in Tokyo, and probably most like the image in your head when you think of stereotypical Tokyo. The best way I can describe it is just as complete sensory overload. You’re surrounded by neon lights, people bumping into you, advertisements blaring on giant TV screens, and lights shining so brightly that it seems like daytime even at night. There are speakers attached to all the light posts, blaring dramatic-sounding video game music, hundreds of businessmen and women rushing past you, tourists taking picture and salespeople handing out flyers. It’s insane, it’s in your face.
Then there’s the infamous Shibuya Crossing, nicknamed, “The Scramble.” It is rumored to be the world’s busiest intersection. At every light change, massive groups of people gather, and then cross from all directions, completely overtaking the street. It really is a sight to be seen.
I had my first Karaoke experience, which was awesome. A group of us girls went to a place in Shibuya. We went for a couple hours and got Nomihoudai – all you can drink. Naturally, there was a lot of Taylor Swift involved. I can’t wait to go again!