Hello! Two full days in Tokyo and I am only now finding the time to put my fingers to the keys. The weather is hot and humid (which means my hair is as big as my sense of adventure), and jet lag is a very real adversary, but it’s been a lot of fun nonetheless. I spent the first day experiencing one of the merits of solo travel by simply walking alone around the city.
Of course, as my homestay is in some of the outlying suburbs, I had to get into the city
before I could start exploring it. I had a little cheat-sheet for the trains in the form of Rachel, another girl staying at my homestay (thank goodness), but soon enough I was on my own!
It was easy to get a little anxious on the train–squished in rush hour traffic, desperate not to lose my guide and only hope of navigating the unfamiliar station names. But as I waved goodbye to Rachel and first emerged from Shinjuku, I was overcome with excitement. All of Tokyo was out there, and all I had to do was take a step forward.
It was a day for reflection, quietly poking around the Shinjuku and Shibuya wards.
Shinjuku was a calm blur of colorful alleyways, restaurants beginning to open, tours departing, businesspeople on their way to work. It was a snapshot of a city waking up.
One road led to another and eventually I found my way to the entrance to the Meiji Shrine. This park was a sanctuary in the middle of the bustling city. It started with a solitary walk through the gate and down a corridor of trees, pushing my way through the heavy air as gravel crunched underneath my feet.
Built as a shrine to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort, people come from all over for honest thanksgiving and reflection.
That first day was a quiet, intimate conversation between myself and Tokyo. It was a steady foundation for all the action ahead!