In early 2013, I saw more or less most of the major Asian countries. While China, South Korea, and Taiwan each had their own merits, the moment I traveled in Japan, I felt like I needed to live there, and then. It was most likely because when I was little, I really loved Japanese culture, and I coudln’t help imagining the Japan of my animes, where cherry blossoms floated in the air and girls and boys skipped around in black buttoned school uniforms. I stayed in Japan between July and September 2013. I would learn to realize how little the Japan of my imagination matched the Japan of reality.
Tokyo is Japan’s capital and one of the largest cities of the world. Each of its neighborhoods had its own character, and to understand each neighborhood would require its own lifetime. I wouldn’t be able to say much about each and every neighborhood, but I certainly held my opnion about my favorites. I chose to live in Asagaya, or the jazz district of Tokyo. If you strolled around there in the middle of the night, you would be have nothing but quiet inside of the residential streets, and then Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane on all of the ones near the stores.
Shibuya and Shinjuku are Tokyo’s more chaotic neighborhoods. They are the places all of the youngsters go to enjoy modern Japanese life. From the red light districts to the host clubs, they are probably where you will see the most unique aspects of Tokyo lifestyle, such as the men dressed almost as dolls only to entertain women in small talk, or the nearly naked robots doing shows for the citizenry, all the while bright lights blanket the streets from head to toe. The best place to buy video games in Tokyo is in Akhibara, to the degree that even the buildings are covered in video game advertisements. In many stores, cheap video games are displayed, and anime products are advertised by young girls in maid costumes. The foreigner is often surprised by the extremely sexual pornographic material of little girls openly out on the streets, but one eventually gets used to the visual chaos of this part of the city.If you aren’t a fan of modern Tokyo, you can always consider life in the older parts of the city. Ueno Park is famous for holding many of Tokyo’s oldest museums and most idyllic of parks.