Here’s another dose of the hilarious, lovely and random use of English in Japan. There’s plenty of English around Japan, it’s just not always guaranteed to make sense.
Check out more funny English in Japan!
About a month ago we decided it was time to leave Japan. We loved our year in Japan and we were especially happy to move to Tokyo and spend our weekends traversing the endless city on foot. Tokyo has everything we want in a big city, a surprising amount of French inspired cafes and bakeries, walkability, tiny mom and pop shops with random inventory that could only exist in a metropolitan area of 35 million people and affordable fresh as can be sushi.
It was not an easy decision to leave, but we are ready to move forward with our career goals. For the past several years we’ve plotted how to become entrepreneurs and pursue careers that will allow us to do what we love, work for ourselves and give us the mobility to live wherever we want and travel with ease. The plan is still a work in progress, but we will take a large step forward this year and work to create this life for ourselves. That way in the future we can potentially return to Tokyo or take on a new part of the world while doing what we love.
Blaine will launch his interior, furniture and lighting design company, People United, and prototype his furniture designs for the New York Design Week International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May 2014. I will start an in home personal training business and work towards becoming a published travel writer.
Top 5 Things we’ll Miss about Tokyo
We will miss Tokyo and we will be back at least to visit and eat lots of sushi!
What would you miss most about your city if you left?
Access: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station, Exit the station and the park and Meiji Jingue (Tokyo’s largest shrine) will be behind you
If Tokyo had a backyard it would be Yoyogi Park. On Sunday in Yoyogi it feels like the whole Tokyo community gathers to picnic and play outdoors. On our first walk through Yoyogi we saw families picnicking, dogs in t-shirts and tutus and kids learning to ride their bikes on the fenced off bike riding track. We heard a woman practicing her harp, men playing the bagpipes, a guitar player and a flautist. The park is crowded, entertaining and often the site of revolving weekend fairs. To see the park in full swing go on Sunday, Japan’s day off.
Access: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Ueno Station and exit the west side of the station
Ueno Park is the museum park. The Tokyo National Museum Complex (Japan’s oldest museum), The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, The National Museum of Nature and Science and The Shitamachi Museum are a few of the museums housed in Ueno Park. You can spend the day bouncing from museum to museum and stop in at the Ueno Zoo, where they are extremely proud of their new Giant Panda exhibit. The park also has Shinobazu pond where you can rent swan shaped paddleboats and sample traditional Japanese fair foods like tako yaki (fried octopus), karage (fried chicken), yaki soba (fried soba noodles) and grilled mochi (a chewy rice paste).
Access: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station and walk ten minutes east of the station
Shinjuku Gyoen is Tokyo’s posh park. It costs 200 yen to enter, which as some say keeps out the riffraff. Shinjuku Gyoen has French, English and Japanese gardens. It’s an idyllic setting for a weekend picnic with sprawling lawns and views of Shinjuku’s skyscrapers. Sadly, no alcohol is allowed in the park (although we may have snuck some in, but I can’t condone that).
Access: Take the Hibiya Line to Roppongi Station and walk south of Roppongi Hills toward Hiroo
Arisugawa Koen is a beautifully landscaped park of picturesque bridges, meandering stairs and quiet secluded benches beneath towering deciduous trees. The park was originally the estate of a samurai lord and then passed on to a prince who donated the land to the city in 1934. The Japanese landscape expresses “an elegant natural beauty and (creates) a tranquil setting rarely found in central Tokyo” (Tokyo Parks). Arisugawa is also my favorite park in Tokyo. Walking through the park I would often see fisherman, artists sketching the landscape and turtles sunbathing on the rocks.
Which park would you prefer to spend a Sunday in?