City Sunset Japan Travel

Tokyo

Japan to me was a haphazard collection of hazy memories; unnamed places captured in dot points and a point and shoot camera on a school trip some six years ago.

city sunset

Sudden, real, it was a hazy blur of people and vending machines –

city street

– of modernity and tradition.

Tranquil temples nestled between towers, shining in the evening light.

japan
japan

Meiji Shrine, Shibuya

A city that gives every foreigner instructions for eating Tsukemen noodles, and is surprised when you order more than one plate of gyozas; a city that remains truly alive. All day. All night.

tokyo

tokyo

Shibuya Crossing

4pm sunsets, before bright flashing signs light up the streets like a wildfire…

japan

Tokyo Tower

…leaving temples illuminated by embers.

city

tokyo

Zōjō-ji temple

Quiet gardens that make you wonder how you could possibly be situated amongst a 2188 square kilometre city.

japan

Shinjuku Gyoen

city skyscrapers

city

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observatory

And the people – they make you wonder briefly why interactions with others ever seem complicated. Respect emanates from everyone.

Local students offered to guide us around the Imperial Gardens on a Sunday, so that they could practice speaking English.

tokyo

tokyo

Children trip over their kimonos and wooden Geta shoes as their parents thank the gods for watching over them. Wishes: for joy, peace, love, health. Sake: for people that wait to see those wishes fulfilled.

japan

Meiji Shrine, Shibuya

One moment we were floating through silent gardens and shrines; the next, laughing uncontrollably as we zoomed through the very streets that surround them, alongside cars, buses, trucks, sitting in little go-karts dressed as characters who we’ve made do the same, icy air numbing our entire bodies and the star power theme music from Mario Kart 64 numbing our minds.

tokyo
tokyo

Maricar, Roppongi

But no electric city, no virtual reality, felt quite as futuristic as lying in a capsule, muted, eerie; where the only sound is the occasional patter of slippers, and you sleep seems so oddly alone, although there could be people lying below, above, on either side of you. All the belongings that you left in a locker, unnecessary, become a distant memory.

A quiet mind.

tokyo

Nine Hours Capsule Hotel, Shinjuku

And a past so revered that Japan’s heritage remains unfazed by all of this.

Harmony.

tokyo

tokyo

Imperial Palace, Chiyoda

Tokyo – unpredictably comfortable.

– T

// See links & captions for some of our favourite places in Tokyo.

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