#011 Tokyo, Japan
After Europe, I went back to Asia after 3 years. Last time I visited Tokyo, it was 2005. Tokyo has a sense of familiarity and a sense of freshness since everything changed so fast here. I've also met some interesting people here.
July 27 - August 7, 2015
Jasper and Mai
Met Jasper in New York when I was a student at the very beginning and still remember we waved our Taiwanese flag at Citi Field. Jasper moved to Tokyo after he left NYC. It was great to see him after all these years and good to know Tokyo suits him well. Fluent Japanese and friend personality got him a lot of friends there. I'm very looking forward to see him as a pizza tenchou in Taiwan. During our brief meeting in Tokyo, Jasper introduced me Mai. Mai studied in NYC as well (the world is small,) and during our chitchatting, Mai mentioned that after 4 years, she traveled to NYC again. The impression? People are loud. She forgot how loud people can be. People shout at each other on the streets lol This is so true and I've never thought about it before! Well, that's some interesting memory about NYC!
Kenji and his NSHTKO family (Ayu, Yuya, Koh and many more)
Kenji moved back after he finished his position in NYC office. We used to dance hustle in the parks or summer outdoor session all the time (miss the good time!) He brought New Style Hustle back to Tokyo and started the community there (with his partner Ayu). I've been introduced to their community. We had some fun session and the unforgettable BBQ in Sarushima. That is a small island near Yokoshuka and only open to public during the day. I was surprised to hear you need to be there 7 in the morning to get a good spot for BBQ. I had great time exploring the island and go into the ocean as well. That's a great day to remember.
Kieran and Frank
Guys from the hostel. They invited me to go to a summer matsuri in Fussa. So I tag along. But first, let us get some food lol We came to Shibuya crossing (in order to have a great pic) and search for sushi! We had our meal in some chain sushi train restaurant. Can't forget how Kieran loves his burger sushi from all the choices lol
Fussa is a suburb area of Tokyo, roughly 1 hour away by train. It's a small and cute town. The matsuri reminds of the very traditional night market in Taiwan where you can get your gold fish from the tank. Great time!
Frank and I explored Akihabara after Kieran departed. Anime and manga are two of the main reasons people wanna visit Japan. I saw people on the street transformed into over excited boys, like Frank when he entered a game card shop lol
I've never really met Kumi before Japan. We met in Tokyo through a mutual friend and surprisingly we had a lot of mutual friends because of dance. We had a great day exploring Meiji shrine and Shibuya. I gain a lot of Japanese perspective from her. It's always fun to learn something from a local. Thank you, Kumi :)
Met Jesus just briefly in the hostel as my roommate. He was about to be an English teacher in Fukui for a year. I just know he's from Texas and can speak Spanish, and can play guitar, and can write songs, and can draw. What a multi-talented guy. Surprisingly he came back to Fukui while I wrote this post. All the best, Jesus!
Zabu and Yumi
Brilliant dancers with passion. Yumi builds her own dance studio in Mitaka, Tokyo. I think it's great you have some space that belong to yourself where you can keep creating. She always has this big smile on her face and you can see she really loves dance. Zabu, once again, I met him briefly at Union SQ, NYC. Just jamming in the park. He's another dancer dedicates New Style Hustle in Tokyo as well (and his partner Eriko). Very humble and dedicated to what he does! Thank you both for having me in the hustle class!
Things I've learned in Tokyo
- Summer in Tokyo is hotter than my hometown.
- There are plenty of hostels especially in Asakusa and restrict to foreigners only.
- There are millions of ways to get to somewhere by their impressive rail system. But download some app to calculate how to get to where you are going and save money. Google maps sometimes is not correct.