First Impressions

Today marks the last day of my first leg in Tokyo. Lemme tell you three reasons why this was a perfect place to start this Snap Gap journey.

The Hospitality

Homestay placed me with a host in a suburb of the city, and nothing made me feel better about my decision to start off in Tokyo than the hospitality of my host, Tomoko. Not only did she help me find my way around the city, but she also took the time to help me find ways to engage with it.

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Outside of the homestay!

On my last night, Tomoko went all out in sharing some Japanese culture by dressing me and the other girls in traditional yukata, and then taking us all out for karaoke!

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Rachel getting dressed in her yukata before karaoke!

And of course, she fed me well. So she will always hold a cherished place in my heart.

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Making delicious dinner!
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Bento box time

Even though I had only stayed for three days, it was tough to wave goodbye to Tomoko when she dropped me off at the train station. I am so glad to have stayed with someone like her!

The People

Although I enjoyed my solo time, Tokyo took on a new dimension when hanging out with people I met there. One of the perks of the homestay I was in was that another girl my age was staying there as well. Rachel and her school friends took me under their wing, helping me navigate, inviting me on a day trip revolving around Cup Noodle (holla), and just providing some all-around laughs.

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The boardwalk in windy Yokohama, an hour from Tokyo.

The Tourist Traps

Some places are popular for a reason! I (and apparently every other tourist in the city) chose to embrace it over these three days. I had one of the best times when Saya (introduced by Tomoko) took me to check out Harajuku.

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The gateway to Harajaku.

This neighborhood is famous for its shopping and outlandish fashion, and on that sunny Sunday afternoon it was sensory overload…

Jostling through the crowd, tasting the delight that is a matcha green tea crepe, and being blinded by flash as we took and edited princess purikura…oh, it was great.

Now that I’ve just gotten a sense of familiarity with Tokyo, I’ll be bulleting into the unknown (no really, I’m taking the bullet train) and heading down to Kyoto for a bit. Ttyl!

 

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