My first impression of Tokyo, aside from being surprised by the very high number of drunken businessmen teetering on the edge of every subway platform in the evenings, was that everything was CUuUuTE. It’s Japan – you expect cute things of course, but I didn’t expect it to be everywhere and on things that are generally bland and straightforward like the signs in the subway and on buildings. Construction sites have cute little characters in hard hats telling you what not to do and there is a very helpful little penguin directing traffic around the subway.
Visiting a Tokyo toy store is an effective and quick way to feel like you’re tripping balls on acid without actually dropping acid. I was dying to go find one (had heard amazing things about KiddyLand) and I wasn’t at all disappointed although I wish I had a translator to tell me what half the stuff was for, and more room in my suitcase so that I could buy everything.
Also… well, I should also just go ahead and say it – we ate basically every lunch in the subway. Sounds strange but there are ENTIRE WORLDS of delicious food down there that you could get lost in for hours. A lot of them also feed into the bottom levels of huge department stores that have prepared food and desserts (that go half-price around 7:00 and cause an insane feeding frenzy). There is very little in this world that can distract me from my hunger when I need to eat but these little Tokyo subway markets did it with their cute marzipan figurines and little bears popping out of doughnuts. It may or may not have taken forever to find something to eat every day because I was busy taking pictures.