while i wasn't able to find any pepsi ice cucumber, or some delicious f-cup cookies, i did manage to buy an array of toys, clothing, snacks and an assortment of oddities. japan, as mentioned in many previous posts, is amazing. every time i come here, i am impressed, intrigued and wide-eyed. the attention to detail. the randomness. the fashion. the simplicity. the elegance. there is so much to take in and so much to appreciate:
the hand towels given at restaurants before you eat. when they are hot, you feel as though your hands are being cleansed of all the dirt and germs you've collected from the day. when they are cold, you feel fantastically refreshed and rejuvenated, both your hands and your face.
the vending machines at virtually every corner offering everything from ice cold bottled water to an assortment of ice coffees, cafe au laits and milk teas to juices and sodas alike. pineapple juice? sure. grape juice? of course. apple? duh. grapefruit? yes. orange? uh-huh. coke? yep. pepsi? check. the point is, in japan, you will never die of thirst.
the welcome greetings you get when you walk into a restaurant or store may go unnoticed by most, but i hear it every time and appreciate it every time. what i appreciate even more are the thank you's you get when you leave. at a store, even if you haven't bought anything, they thank you for coming in. such nice manners.
speaking of manners, there's a general sense of friendliness all around. people are polite, kind and willing to help. i've read on many blogs about experiences with japanese people being cold and unwilling. my experience has always been the opposite. i'm always treated well and with constant smiles.
the transportation, from subways to trains, to buses and taxis, is seemingly flawless. the trains are on time. the taxi's are everywhere. the buses run like clockwork. it is so easy to get around. the array of public transportation allows for endless hours of exploration and fun.
the hidden streets that you stumble upon make tokyo exciting and mysterious. stores you'd never expect to find pop up on the most random streets. so many of the stores that i wanted to visit ended up being on tiny little streets, often hidden, seemingly purposefully to create a sense of mystery and intrigue. 1 week in tokyo is hardly enough if you expect to find the gems sprinkled throughout the sprawling metropolis.
lastly, for now, the fact that there are toilets EVERYWHERE, makes for a pleasant and mind-easing trip. having peace of mind, knowing you are seconds away from an often times state-of-the-art public restroom, is an awesome feeling. can i get an amen?
we fly out tomorrow, ready to get back to the real world and ready for some jet lag. again. pictures to come soon.
sayonara, for now.