Japanese women in Harajuku
Japanese women walking in Harajuku.

1. The women are gorgeous and incredibly stylish.

I mean, gorgeous. I walked into one department store and thought to myself, “There are more beautiful women on this floor than in the entire state of Ohio.” This picture does not do them justice, but I didn’t want to be a creeper and start taking photos of every hot chick I saw. I instead terrorized everybody by snapping completely random stealth street shots.

Snapper sushi at Sushi Dai in Tokyo
YUM. Snapper tuna at Sushi Dai.

2. The food is delicious.

Simple, well-prepared, and sooo good. Everything you’d expect Japanese cuisine to be. I would love to go back to Japan when I am rich and famous and spend a week doing nothing but eating. The above photo is of snapper sushi at Sushi Dai in the Tsukiji Fish Market. More on that omg-so-yummy experience later.

Women biking down streets in Koenij
Lady biking down the streets of Koenji, Tokyo.

3. Everything is insanely clean.

One New Year’s Eve (I may have been slightly intoxicated), I felt tired and decided to sit on the ground. In a New York City subway station. My friends were horrified and refused to associate with me until the next train came. I was looking at life through 2009 glasses, however, and thought the whole thing to be quite funny. Had we been in Tokyo, I don’t think any of them would have given it a second thought. How does the world’s biggest city stay SO CLEAN?! Here’s a fun contest: let’s see who can be the first to spot a piece of trash in the photo above. Hint: it’s a trick. THERE’S NO TRASH TO BE FOUND. 

Sumo wrestler in 7/11
I guess the most scared I felt is when I saw a sumo wrestler in 7/11. He was a big boy.

4. You feel safe everywhere.

There was not one moment on my entire trip when I felt the least bit nervous. At one point, while walking through a park, I spotted an empty Red Bull can on the ground. “Look, litter!” I exclaimed. This find was soon followed by the sighting of a homeless man – the first we’d seen. We thus declared this park the “ghetto of Tokyo.” Beware, if you ever make it to Tokyo, I’d avoid that park. Who knows, at the rate it’s going, there could be some GRAFFITI or an empty CHIP BAG there next time. Scary stuff.

Octopus for sale in Japan

5. Shit is expensive.

As anybody who travels to Tokyo should, I was expecting this one. You will bleed money if you want to do or eat anything fun in Tokyo. Just my transportation costs alone were around $15/day. Luckily, I kept costs down by CouchSurfing and sometimes snacking at convenience stores as a meal, so I got to save my money for the fun stuff. Every last penny was worth it, though; Tokyo fast became one of my favorite cities in the world. 

That’s what didn’t surprise me about Tokyo. Want to know what things did surprise me? I bet they will surprise you, too! Stay tuned to find out, and feel free to leave any guesses in the comments. 

This is a postcard from Tokyo, Japan. Like it? Then sign up for my RSS feed, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter! Or just send me a care package filled with Swedish Fish.