tl;dr I’m in Tokyo. This blog is ten years old.
So for those of you who keep up with me on another social media outlet (or any other medium, really, like IRL), you might know that I’m in Tokyo (!) for the summer.
I’m working as a UX designer, and so far my experience has been good, if not a little routine:
6AM: Wake up at this hour, every day without fail, FOR NO REASON AT ALL other than the fact that my body clock is a bitch???
6AM-9:30AM: Make a futile attempt to go back to sleep. Suck it up.
7PM-9PM: Grab dinner with my limited Japanese skills. This is usually ramen or soba or some other noodly variant.
9PM-11PM: Watch a World Cup game. (Interchangeable/negotiable, depending on the match)
11PM-12AM: Get ready for bed, but debate internally if I should watch the next World Cup game
12AM-2AM (?): Decide screw it, I’m watching the match! Sometimes I can stay awake through the first half. Sometimes.
That said, it’s not my first rodeo when it comes to Japan, though it’s my first time being here for more than 2 weeks. Hell, the last time I was living abroad for more than a few months was back in 2008, when I studied in Beijing during the summer. Fun fact: this blog started because I needed a way to update my friends on my whereabouts with LiveJournal being banned in China. It feels weird coming full-circle a decade later, but here we go.
Anyway, I’ve been here for ten days. I don’t think I’m quite settled yet, though the amount of times I have eaten an egg salad sandwich from my neighborhood Lawson or run to the 7-11 in search for a workable ATM show otherwise. I haven’t even used my camera yet. But that’s ok — I’ve got a good amount of time to explore this city and country (I’m lookin’ at you, Hokkaido and Okinawa).
Let me tell you, being in a country whose national team just landed a hard-fought win in the World Cup is An Experience. I remember going to a block party in Vila Madalena the night Brazil defeated Chile in the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup, and to this day, that memory wins all the awards for the biggest moshpit ever. Anyway, Japan had just scored an upset defeat over Colombia, and — well. Pandemonium descended upon Tokyo. I just so happened to be coming back from a watch party in Shibuya, which may or may not be THE BUSIEST INTERSECTION. Just imagine the amount of crowds in Times Square but with a fraction of the space. This photo was taken right before I decided I actually valued my phone and quickly stowed it away before a throng of drunk and (rightfully so!) excited fans could knock it out of my cold, dead hands.
Here’s a live recording. Turn those speakers up for full effect.
Udon noodles with grated yam at Kokuwagata. Despite (or even because of???) the slimy texture, I am ridiculously endeared to grated yam. The name is a pretty poor descriptor of what it actually looks and feels like (who knew that yams, when grated, would turn mucuslike?!), but this was delicious.
Speaking of yams, the KitKat Chocolatery sells purple yam KitKats, and yes, they are as delicious as they are purple.
This is Yodobashi, also known as the world’s largest electronics store. I poked my head in here last Sunday because I needed to replace my broken Fitbit strap, but alas, the world’s largest electronics store didn’t have my size.
On Friday, I went to the Gorillaz concert, where they premiered their new album, the Now Now. Also, I’m really impressed by how punctual the concerts are. Case in point: The show was done at 9PM. 9PM! Even after the encore! A concert schedule that actually agrees with my old-lady sleeping habits is downright revolutionary.