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Published: October 19th 2014
I was still confused by the impressions of the Yokohama Oktoberfest, when we started our 3 day in Japan with a tour through Tokyo. At first we went to Shinjuku, because my girlfriend complained, that she had expected some more skyscrapers. We went looking for the new government seat, which was more difficult to find than you expect. So far Shinjuku was the dirtiest place of all. Alex started to wonder, how it is possible for such a crowed and huge city to stay clean, without seeing any workers doing the cleaning up. Even more so because there are not many trash cans. I told her there were cleaning-ninjas, covered in special camouflage 😉.
From Shinjuku we took the train to Harajuku and visited the Meiji-jingu-shrine. At the entrance we properly cleaned our hands and mouth with water. By now they provide little booklets for the tourists, on how to do it. A tip for anyone going to Japan, always have a small towel with you, because there is like nowhere anything to dry your hands, except for your own clothes. Once again I was astonished by the contrast, the shrine and the shopping streets of harajuku provide. On the
one hand side you have a beautiful nearly quite temple and garden, and on the other side there is the up to date crowded and noisy shopping district. In Harajuku itself we went for lunch (japanese schnitzel see Foto), saw some distinct clothing styles and went to a starbucks. The starbucks is not special, but it is a place were I had a reoccuring problem in Japan: Japanification of english words. The waiter asked me, if I wanedt iced or hot coffee. But for me it sound like he was talking quantum physics in japanese.
Last stop of the day was the emperors palace. Yet another magnificent green haven in the middle of the skyscrapers. While we were walking to the palace, I heard a fire truck coming down the street, and than it hit me. In addition to the horn and the lights, somebody is screaming out of the truck as well. In english it should be something like this: "Please take care, we are coming. Please take care, we are turning left now!" In Japan everybody screams at you, for your own good. From the shopkeeper who greets you, to the ambulance so that you don't get
run over. Another awkward incident happened, when Alex and I tried to take a picture together at the palace. Two guys asked if they should take the photo for us. While we were preparing, they told us were to stand and even told some japanese girls to get away, because they were in the picture. After were finished they two guys said: We are from Poland and white people should help each other in a country were only strange people live! Obviously ,those two had experienced the renowned culture-shock, but the use of the term "white people" bothered me.
On our way home we grabbed some food and I prepared for my first training session in Japan.
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