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Discovering: TOKYO

 Japan is highly regarded throughout the world as being at the forefront of technology, and the centre of that is the capital city, Tokyo. It’s an intense place where everything feels like its running on full-charge.

 If New York is the city that never sleeps, Tokyo is the city that never stops. Spread out over many different and unique areas, it’s a never-ending landscape of neon lights and skyscrapers.

 The definition of organised chaos, with over 38 million people all living in the same place harmoniously.

 A perfect display of this is Shibuya crossing. An intersection where hundreds of people cross in unison, looking like a clip out of a David Attenborough documentary.  Then, seconds later it’s a bustling intersection with cars coming from every direction. A few minutes pass the phenomenon is repeated.

 There are definitely places where you can escape the rhythm of the city, like Ueno park – an oasis in a concrete desert. Or if trees aren’t your thing, there’s a historical area called Golden Gai. Famous for its many intimate bars, each fitting around ten people. Think less Rocky from Rocky Horror Picture Show and more expensive Japanese whiskey.

 Alternatively, you could go to the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku and follow in the footsteps of Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation and have a vodka tonic and look out over the city in their penthouse bar.

 Shinjuku is one of the most vibrant parts of the city, it is home to the busiest train station in the world with trains coming in from all over the country – also around the corner, a life-size statue of Godzilla.

 If anime is something you’re interested in, Akihabara is the place to visit. Akihabara has been made famous for its many electronics shops, and when you arrive it is made very evident why that is. Walking out from the station to the main street is a sensory overload. Every building has a bombardment of flashing neon advertisements, along with all the sounds of the city it is a lot to process. 

 It is the definition of nerd culture. If you want to buy the latest technology available, that’s okay. If you want to buy a Gameboy color made in 1998, that is also okay. There are shops which are floor to ceiling Pokémon cards and stalls on the street which sells adaptors to every country imaginable. 

 If fashion is more your thing, you have to know about Harajuku. In Gwen Stefani’s song, Harajuku girls, she describes it as “a subculture in a kaleidoscope of fashion”. It’s an area made famous for its super kawaii street style.  At the time being in Tokyo, it can feel like you’re on the set of a Ridley Scott film, but this is only a testament to how futuristic the city is.

By Adam Benouzekri

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