1. Vibrant cherry blossoms in bloom
2. Delicious Chicken Tonkatsu for lunch
3. Riding the impossibly large and busy subway for the first time
4.Watching the sunset from the top floor of Ritz Carlton, the tallest hotel in town
5. Spying a sumo wrestler in training hurry towards his next practice
6. Ascending Mt. Fuji for the first time
7. Navigating the busy stalls at Nakamise Dori
8. Trying to decide which impossibly strange vending machine to try first
9. Being on the receiving end of truly one-of-a-kind Japanese hospitality
10. Exploring the near future at the Panasonic show room (the massage chairs are definitely in my future)
11. Using plastic food models to order dinner
12. Taking a swan boat across Lake Ashi
13. No one does mystical panoramic views like Japan
14. Watching the faithful descend on the popular Sensoji Temple
15. Learning about the past at the Edo Tokyo Museum
16. Staring in shock and awe at a group of anime dressed teens
17. Popping your head in a cat-stroking shop
18. Enjoying world class comfort as a guest of the Ritz Carlton Tokyo
19. Sushi isn’t for me, but if you like it this is the place for you
20. More tonkatsu for dinner
21. Discovering the many other cuisines represented around town
22. Strolling through an endless array of shops that are best described as strange
23. The travel umami I experience there
24. Seeing a red, double decker London bus drive by and decide there’s nothing odd about that
25. Bubble tea. Try it immediately if you haven’t heard of it before.
26. Getting in touch with your inner Zen at a local Buddhist retreat
27. Admiring the endless displays of botanical perfection in small gardens around town
28. Standing back and watching the madness at Shibuya Crossing during rush hour
29. Talking to a local over some tea to learn more about them, their life and their city
30. Going on a hike outside of town for some fresh air in pristine national parks
31. Getting clean at a traditional onsen bath. No modesty allowed.
32. Trying not to stare as geishas effortlessly glide by
33. Going high end at one of the many world class restaurants in town
34. Going low end with some truly excellent street food, as long as you can identify it.
35. Visiting a fish market, namely Tsukiji Fish Market to see the Japanese obsession with seafood in full force.
36. Walking through a mall, it’s truly a cultural experience
37. NOT taking a cab, they’re expensive, slow and communicating can be an issue
38. Learning enough Japanese phrases to so you don’t expect everyone to understand you
39. Random acts of kindness, like the young lady who helped me find my way on the subway
40. Riding the Shinkansen bullet train
41. Understand that while Tokyo is impossibly large and modern, much of its attitude is rooted in a more rural, pastoral way of life
42. Saying so long, but not goodbye because it would take a lifetime to properly explore this amazing city.
What are some of your favorite things about Tokyo?