Now I know every traveller is different and open to do whatever they want to do but having said that I was a little shocked when my mate Vinod (a Wolves fan so please do hold that against him!!) came to visit a couple of weeks back from Korea where he too is teaching. The reason was that he hadn’t done a single bit of research on Japan and seemed to be the only person in the world who didn’t know how expensive things are over here.
We met when we were living and working in Germany in 2003 and it has to be said he was one of the most laidback men then so it should have been no surprise that he was one of the most under-prepared travellers I’ve ever known having not researched anything on the internet or in a guidebook so he had no idea what there was to do in Tokyo.
Mind you, over the course of his five night stay at mine he did end up doing a fair few things but I just felt that with some planning he could have made much better use of his time in terms of a trip or two out of Tokyo to see Mount Fuji, Nikko, Kamakura or whatever.
In defence of Vinod I have to say that I did pretty much bugger all research before I went to Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Japan but I always knew that I had time on my side as I wasn’t on a short holiday. Thats what I’m used to now so I tend to be very Japanese and cram as much into a few days as possible as typified by some of last years trips.
Anyway, among all the drinking and eating we also inevitably visited a Maid Cafe in Akihabara followed by Asukusa and a boat cruise down to Odaiba and all the other usual touristy places such as Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku where we went up the Metropolitan Government Building on the snowy Sunday which made our view of Tokyo’s concrete jungle impossible to view as it was all fogged up.