It’s been exactly one month since I arrived in Japan, and I’m just now beginning to feel adjusted. In my last post I discussed three difficulties with assimilating to Japan and the culture, and while they’re still apparent, it has become much easier. In this post I’ll discuss three things that I’ve come to love about Japan.
If you’re familiar with Japan, you may know that generally everything is on time, from trains to buses. The trains arrive at the same time every day, and by using Google Maps, you can see exactly what time and where the train will arrive. The train I take to class every morning arrives at exactly 10:15 am. It’s yet to be early or late. Generally, the train doesn’t stop for any longer than 30 seconds, so if you’re late, you’re going to miss it. I’ve had a few close calls, but luckily I haven’t missed one yet.
This is the station I leave from every day. The sign at the top shows the time of the next arriving train.
Perhaps the greatest part about living in Tokyo is how easy it is to get from one place to another. I’m almost always within a ten minute walk from the nearest train station. In addition to this, it’s possible to get from any station to another. For the most part, all you have to do is get off one train and transfer to another, generally taking no more than five minutes. This is quite different than what I’m used to, which is driving everywhere. Every station is also handicap accessible, allowing anyone to go wherever they please.
I like this photo because it shows the extensiveness of Japan’s railway. You can see five separate train tracks, even in a less urban location.
3. green space
I’m from Ohio where green space is all there is, and for being one of the biggest cities in the world, Tokyo’s green space is quite incredible. Even in the middle of the city with skyscrapers all around, there are several trees. There are also several parks scattered throughout; some rather small, others incredibly large.
This is a photo from a sixth story terrace atop a building on my campus, which is in the center of Tokyo. The contrast between green space and cityscape is beautiful.
In addition to the green space in Tokyo, there are many locations just outside Tokyo with breathtaking views. Here is a photo from our day trip to Kamakura in the Yokohama Prefecture, about one hour by train from my campus.
Most of the green space is also accompanied by a shrine or temple of sorts.
This is the Zojoji Temple, a Buddhist temple right next to the Tokyo Tower. Even the Tokyo Tower, a structure near the center of the city, is accompanied with a temple and a lot of green space. Even while living in one of the largest cities in the world, you can find many locations that make the thought of a skyscraper disappear.