The worldwide Augustana College experience

Tokyo

We’ve been in the worlds largest city for about 9 days now.  Tokyo is such an overwhelming place there is so much to do and with classes and homework it just does not seem like there is enough time to see everything.  I’ve mostly seen Shibuya and I have also been to Shinjuku a couple of times.  I really enjoy Shibuya because when you get there you feel like you are walking into a different place from the rest of Japan.  Shibuya is equivalent to New York City’s time square.  There are so many people it is crazy.  The worlds largest intersection happens to be in Shibuya and you have to struggle through a mass of people to head in the direction you want to go and that’s during the day.  At night it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere but where the crowd is going.  Shibuya has an array of restaurants ranging from local cuisine to American to Italian and place in between.  They have quite a bit of shopping too, however, most of it is out of the price range of college students.  There is a shopping mall of 8 floors called Shibuya 109 and it is all for women and quite expensive.  Down the street aways there is a Shibuya 109-2 which has three more floors of women’s stores and then about 3 or 4 more floors of guys stores.  The first floor is largely Hello Kitty.  Other high end shopping includes, Gucci, Fendi, Bvlgari, and Louis Vuitton.  About the only affordable shopping was at H&M which has three and a half floors of women’s clothes and half a floor of men’s clothing.  Shibuya is a very globalized neighborhood of Shibuya.  There is not a lot of residential space there so most of the people there are visiting and passing through.

Shinjuku is also quite busy but is more of a business center.  They do have some good shopping though, I went twice to Forever 21 with different people.  Shinjuku also has several sushi go rounds, so Andrew and I went there for lunch one day and it was pretty cheap and the sushi was good as well as the miso soup.

Kelsey, Andrew, and I tried to go climb Mount Fuji today, however, when we arrived at Mount Fuji we went to go get returning tickets and the only bus that had tickets available was a bus that would be leaving in 10 minutes.  The bus ride was supposed to be about 2 hours, but getting there took about 2.5 hours.  Getting back did take about 2 hours.  We didn’t even get to see Mount Fuji at all because it was so dark because of the clouds and the sun had already set.  Because Tokyo is so big, even though there is a lot to do, it takes awhile to get to some places and it can also be quite confusing trying to find your way to a certain location.

Probably the most exciting thing I’ve done in Tokyo is go to a baseball game.  A group of us went to a Yomiuri Giants game.  It was quite a different experience than a game in America.  In Japan the fans cheer quite loud for their team but when the other team is up at bat they are quiet.  It seems as if they have a cheer for each player because the cheer seemed to be different every time there was a new batter.  It was hard to follow the cheers though since it was in Japanese.  Also our seats weren’t that great so it was harder to focus and watch the game, at least for me because I’m not an avid baseball fan to begin with, but nonetheless, it was a very fun experience.  I really enjoyed how there was no booing the other team because it made the game more enjoyable for me as I’m not a very competitive person I like to see teams get along and not be mean to each other.

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