Here is a video of the lady I saw with a cat on her shoulder =)
Anyway, cat ladies aside lets begin the story of how my life in Japan is going. We landed in Narita August 5th, leaving New Zealand which was about 10 degrees Celsius the jump into 35-40 (104 Fahrenheit) and around 100% humidity was quite a shock, not to mention carrying bags too.
Everyone was naturally excited but unfortunately we didnt get through customs and into Tokyo city till after sunset, so we couldn't see too much of the city but were greeted with a great view of the lights from the hotel. Wellington in New Zealand while the capital is a very small city with around 400,000 people, Tokyo has over 12 million so the shear size of it was very daunting.
The people from out group were lucky enough to stay in the Keio Plaza, which is located right in Shinjuku.
It was a shame we only were able to stay in Tokyo for 3 days, since we were busy with the orientation we only had the evenings to explore the city.
Something that I didn't expect to see was the amount of homeless in Shinjuku, but also that the homeless were quite clean and looked just like normal people with clean clothes, just living in cardboard boxes. Apparently some of them just crack under the pressure of city life and become homeless but their families will bring them things. One of the more interesting people had 10 cats living with him, which he was feeding at the time although understandably he did not want his photo taken.
Probably my favorite part of the city was the architecture of some of the buildings and a mix of cute restaurants like the one above and the tall office buildings with amazing designs.
The above being the definite favorite.
The fun thing about wandering aimlessly around a foreign city is you tend to stumble upon things you might not otherwise see if you were headed straight to some location, and during one of my nightly wanders I found something I had always wanted to see.
When we walked up to try and get in we were very disappointed to hear it was closing in a few minutes, but when one of the patrons left lots of the cats ran out to greet us. Even though we missed out that time I have seen been to one which ill talk about in more detail another time.
Sadly our three day trip was coming to an end and we all split up to go to our home prefectures. So we boarded the bullet train (shinkansen) and speed across the country to Kyoto. But the adventure had only just begun...