- I hated that : Nobody spoke english.
It is a miracle if you come across someone who speaks english. Tourist information centres included. Charles and I were on a mission to get to mountain Fuji and were getting lost in the subways trying to retrieve information. Thankfully we used all sign and sound language to communicate. ”Chuu-Chuu Fuji” means ‘’we need a train to Fuji’’. Pointing and drawing worked as well.
English is not my first language so I don’t mean to be arrogant. I use english to communicate in all foreign countries even though I speak Croatian. We also wanted to take a bus tour but they didn’t know how to explain us the tours as they only get Japanese tourists on them. We missed out on so many things because we didn’t speak Japanese. My experience would have been so much better if I could have just spent my money. Please take my money!
2. I loved that : There were some pretty random weird things to get involved with.
While we took walks through Shinjuku and Shibuya we noticed some weird things that were in desperate need of explanation. For example this weird poster showing off a drawing of girls pulling their skirts up.
Or this street in Shinjuku full of host bars where you pay to hang out with boys and girls.
3. I hated that : My credit card or debit card didn’t work on 99.9% of ATM-s
Yes, this happened too. Our card got rejected in the restaurant, then we were looking for cash points. The ATM’s are simply not reading european credit cards or debit cards. In order to get some money out, you need to find a big chain bank that works with your european bank, which is not possible. Charles thankfully banks with citi bank so we found a branch where we could use the atm. If he didn’t have citi bank we would have no way of paying for things. You would imagine that such a touristic city as Tokyo is more tourist friendly.
4. I loved that: You can really amazing food everywhere
Tokyo is big and people are hungry. Eating on the streets is not allowed so restaurants are packed with people who are hungry. They are not fancy restaurants but the food is amazing almost everywhere. We really had great experiences in all the places we ate except one, where we by accident ordered cows insides and were feeling a bit sick when it arrived.
5. I hated that: There is no wifi unless you have a Japanese phone
Unlike Europe you can’t find wifi everywhere. It is almost crazy because Japan is leading technology superpower of the world. I expected wifi to be everywhere, but it is not. However there is always Starbucks.
6. I loved how everyone abides the rules
If someone said you can’t do something and you do it, you are a tourist. Japanese people respect the law and you can see that because if somewhere on the street said you can’t eat, drink or smoke and you do, you will get dirty looks from Locals.
7. I hated how everything is so expensive
If you live in a major city such as London or Paris , you will find Tokyo is similar in prices but sometimes seriously more expensive. Dinner for 2 with a couple of beers is around £100 , Hotels are more expensive than London and transport is very expensive, but you can find other things are much cheaper.
8. I loved and hated that: You can’t smoke outside, but you can smoke inside?!
I felt bad smoking in restaurant cause there was a family with kids next to me. On the other-hand, Tokyo made smoking on the streets illegal because they are preparing for the Olympics in 5 years and want to keep the city clean. In restaurants and bars you can still smoke, so if you get munchies just go down some stairs order some Sapporo and have fun.
9. I hated that: rooms are so small
Okay I knew this anyway, Japan is very precious on space so most hotel rooms can only fit a double bed in and hardly anything else.My suitcase hardly got in to the room. 1 night in Shibuya is double the price of a five star hotel in central London. It goes from £200 up and don’t expect luxury for that price.
10. I loved the fact: If you pour yourself your own drink you will look like an alcoholic
It is so normal other people on the table pour you a drink and it is expected that you reciprocate. Unfortunately none of them can pour quick enough, so I ended up being the alcoholic.
11. I hated that: People gossip and point at you on the street and metro
I always thought Japanese people are all polite but thankfully not all of them are. My piercings are quite a novelty in Japan and I’m constantly being pointed at. Sometimes people come up to me and tell me I am kawaii which is nice, or maybe they are just making fun of me, who knows?
12. I loved that : It is so big I had to change locations of hotels
Tokyo is big and sure you can take a metro everywhere but it is not cheap. Metro day ticket is around £10. You are better off choosing a location like Shibuya as everything is in that area, or Ginza and Shinjuku. It is more fun to change accommodations as rooms are so small you will get claustrophobic, and change is good.
13. I hated that : there are mo trashcans ANYWHERE, EVER!
For a city that is trying to stay clean, not placing trashcans is a bit of a paradox for me. How can yo expect to have a clean city if people have nowhere to put their garbage in? Maybe they think if there is no garbage cans people will carry it in their hand…. Who knows?