Tokyo: cool robots & hot toilets
We jet-lagged our way thru Tokyo in 2 1/2 action-packed days of exploring neighborhoods and cuisine
Metro system gets you everywhere quickly and efficiently. We stayed in the quieter Asakuma area at Mystays Hotel, a new hotel with tiny, but perfectly curated, rooms.
Just down the street we found delicious, dark french press coffee at Unir Cafe at Insomnia Hotel which became our daily ritual along with a little bowl of granola. $7 per cup of coffee but worth it. ($3.50 for granola)
Then we headed to chic Roppingi district to visit the Mori Art Museum and skywalk for a look at the Tokyo skyline and to learn about the gorgeous, wood-based architecture that is historically and uniquely Japanese. The island is still 70% forest.
Robots in hotels and restaurants want to interact with us but they are pretty limited conversationally…or maybe we are!
Toilets gone wild- even in public places, they often have heated seats & convert to bidet or spray with a control panel. Brilliant idea: a plastic infant seat in your stall so parents have two hands free to attend to their business!
How clean is Tokyo? No graffiti. No trash on street, in trains or anywhere. No trash cans on every corner…you have to hunt for them. No homeless…well there are but they are invisible unless you know where to look.
Spent a rainy afternoon at Tokyo Station. Its a food and shopping mecca where Japan Rail and Tokyo Metro connect. Think Grand Central Station on steroids! Get a station map and find your way to “Ramen Street” where the noodle shops are famous. Let the long lines be your guide to the best ones!
Spend another rainy day (rains often) at Meiji Shinto temple grounds enjoying the lush, peaceful, forest-wrapped grounds. Then charge back into the throngs at Shuboya Crossing, world’s busiest intersection. When the light turns green, everyone crosses in every direction at once.
Visited some tourist sites but the real pleasure is people watching. The locals are pioneering the styles we will all be wearing soon. Fashion alert: loose tops and longer skirts paired with low boots or sneakers is a definite trend.
The Japanese are kind, friendly and polite but most didn’t speak a lot of English. We speak about 5 phrases. But it really doesnt matter because somehow we manage to communicate. Good manners and good intentions got us through complicated directions and transactions. “Arigato gozaimas” has been our fail safe phrase of thanks…and theirs!