been a bonkers couple of days in Tokyo .... I LOVE Japan ...
here are the touristy things checked out ... imperial palace and gardens, asakusa temple, sumida river cruise, tokyo tower, ginza, meji shrine, tea house
here are the extras that make me love this place ..
- I love a 'welcome towel' ... !$#! ... for me, a sign of a great hotel, I love it when you arrive somewhere hot and the hotel greets you with a cold refreshing minty towel and welcome drink .... I loved it more when I got off the train at Tokyo Central and jumped in cab ... where the gentleman co-ordinating the cabs and passengers provided all taxi passengers with a little pack containing 3 lovely fresh chilled minty towels.
- I love that the taxis are pristine, that the drivers are wearing white gloves and that all the taxis have lovely white fabric covers overlaid with delicate lace doilies.
- How great that tipping is seen as almost rude and yet the service is exceptional
- Sake ... errr no ... not for me ... well not the warm one anyway ... my sake faith restored with a refreshing cold blend
- Vending machines everywhere with the strangest variety of things available
- The cleaniness ... oh how I LOVE the cleanliness of EVERYTHING
- The toilets .. I am addicted .... I am already having withdrawals at the thought of not being able to have those little warm sprays going forward ... (my loo in the hotel even says hello to me and asks if I would like a massage and my seat warmed - errr yes to both)
- I know I shouldnt, but I do ... I love that western women appear to be worshipped by bonkers japanese men, but not in an overtly sleazy way, in a very respectful dignified way
- Fruit sandwiches, yep picked one up last night at Lawsons (a mini mart) kiwi fruit, strawberries, mandarin in a sandwich with a cream cheese type spread ... true stories .. in normal bread ..
- I love that despite how modern the place is, tradition is evident everywhere and not exploited by english, I love that most places still dont use english signage
- Bowing, I love bowing, I am now just naturally bowing to everyone everywhere ...although I must learn more abut this ... because the more I bow, the more people bow, which makes me feel obliged to bow, which makes them bow again ... this can go on for ages ... even at the train stations where I just hello to people
- I love the fact that I met a crazy guy from London at Lawsons , who introduced me to his crazy friend from Japan, who has recommended a crazy two day experience where I can stay in an okiya and learn the secret world of the geisha ... which is where I head to later this week .... mmmmmmmm this will be interesting ... it seems too readily available given the secrecy that normally surrounds this ....
- I love the warmth, spirit and generosity of the people here and the new v old that seems to blend together to seamlessy
I still have not found Maru ..
CBT - x