Our initial goal in visiting Tokyo had been to get a look at the shopping, technology, and general metropolitan mega-coolness that the city is famous for, and to maybe even try some crazy food we'd never had before. Upon arriving, though, we immediately changed our goal to just getting out of the airport before we had to be back there again.
Tokyo is probably the most confusing place on the planet. Take a look at their subway map:
No wonder Japanese schoolchildren are outperforming Americans at every level of academics--just being able to read their subway map takes brainpower not often found in the US outside the darkest, nerdiest corridors of of MIT.
Knowing what we knew of Japanese culture in advance--namely, that these were the people who produced a video game involving Italian plumbers traversing a world of waddling mushrooms and killer turtles--we should have expected things to be pretty confusing. Still though, nothing could have prepared us for this place. It's like a gigantic maze that, even if you could solve it, you wouldn't know you had, because "start," "finish," and everything in between are marked up in a language you couldn't even master if you had 40 years to try.
Still though, I'm glad we had the chance to visit Tokyo. In a world where globalization and homogenization are increasingly prevalent, it's nice to see that there are some places that are still different as shit from the United States.
Tomorrow we're going somewhere cold. Bundle up!