Tokyo Day #1: Through the Side Streets of Shibuya

After landing in Tokyo at 6 a.m. we quickly dropped off our luggage at the hotel – dismissing the thought of a nap and a hot shower after a 12-hour flight. Check-in will not be possible until 3 p.m. they told us. So the metro took us to Shibuya and spit us out onto the infamous crossing. It’s screaming screens still turned off and the crosswalks empty, we realised how early it was. So after some mediocre coffee, we let ourselves drift aimlessly through the back alleys of Shibuya – all the time trying to beat a growing need for sleep …

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It’s this contrast between the vast and crowded places like Shibuya Crossing and these small streets with their two or three storey houses that I love about Tokyo: turn three corners and you enter a parallel world of residential buildings and small shops squeezed into tiny plots. I love how despite the apparent the lack of space, there are always crowds of plants populating the curbstones of those tiny alleys and streets. It’s such a great space to get lost in, as for a few moments you forget that you are currently walking around at the heart of in the world’s biggest metropolitan area – until you turn another three corners and find yourself back on one of Tokyo’s high streets, filled with classy stores and shopping crowds.

So, if you ever go to Tokyo, please take some time to get lost – preferably on your first day when you are tired, jet lagged and your nerves are slightly on edge. I firmly believe that afterwards you will feel more at home in this city!

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