monthly field report: Tokyo is Tokyo

posted in: JETAADC | 0

Cameron BrenkeCameron Brenke, originally from Woodbridge, Virginia, is now an ALT in Shintotsukawa, Hokaido. He is based at a junior high school, makes weekly visits to an elementary school, and runs the community eikawa. Outside of class, Cameron participates in a local taiko group, eats lots of yakiniku, and just recently  got back from a trip to Tokyo…

I spent ten days this winter break in Tokyo! Actually, I met up with a fellow DC JET who is working in Gifu Prefecture. Splitting the hotel room was definitely an effective way to bring the cost of travelling down. As you know though, Tokyo is Tokyo, and so it can be absurdly expensive in the ways you expect it to be. Despite that I choose to give it a shot. I flew into Haneda and took the Monorail from there directly to Tokyo Station, there wasn`t much to see on the way, plus it was raining. However, as soon as I met up with my friend in Shinjuku, the scene definitely changed: hordes of people, lights, and food! I was quite hungry at that time, so we spent a few minutes walking around some back alley and found a fairly good Thai restaurant. Tokyo, KAMPAI!

Long story short, we visited about everyplace imaginable. In particular, we went to see Asakusa for the famous Sensouji Temple on New Year`s Eve. What a cool experience! Street stalls lined the path, the smells of yakitori, okonomiyaki, soba, etc wafting in the air, not to mention the ability to gaze among the intricate temple among it all, gave the sense that, although two days before it seemed like there was nobody in Tokyo, that night was the night where Tokyo came back to life. Seriously, though two or three days before and after New Year`s Day there was no one in Tokyo. I felt like I was living in that show `Life After People`.

After it was all said and done, I returned to Hokkaido to be met with the realization I will be living in sub zero temperatures for the as long as the next four months. Oh well, I guess I`m glad I bought that new jacket in Tokyo.


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