We had landed in Tokyo. I had always wanted to visit here and one of the main reasons being is that Tokyo Design always ranked among my favorite design styles. The simplicity and ability to merge contrasting colors in such an awesome way, always surprised and inspired me. I did and still believe that simplistic design is not only more challenging to enact, but so much more meaningful. This quote comes to mind when I think about this concept:

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Aside from the design aspect, there were so many cool things about Japan that have always inspired me and peaked my interest. I was about to encounter firsthand whatever myths or realities about Japan have built into my stratosphere during my past 30 years on this planet.

Tokyo Skytree – The World’s Tallest Tower

Once we arrived in the Tokyo airport and took the tram to the city center, it was 9 p.m. on a week night and the train station was flooded with the Japanese ‘salary man’ – meaning that there was a sea of black suited individuals marching to the station, some looking slightly inebriated, but well put-together regardless. There I noticed groups of businessmen stopping and bowing towards each other in unison before taking off in different directions.

Downtown Ginza

The über pulled up and the backdoor popped open on its own. My first glimpse of cool technology in Japan. From there we were whisked away to the Ginza area which looked like a spotless New York City and almost like a utopian version of the modern metropolis. Of course, we later found out that all of Tokyo wasn’t this perfect. Interesting, definitely – but not this well manicured.

Senso-Ji Temple

The following two weeks were spent enjoying the polite culture of Japan, the incredibly well-natured people, the best sushi in the world at the fish market, and all the incredible sights – both natural and man-made. We also appreciated the wet wipes that were readily available to us at every restaurant upon sitting down. The emphasis on smart-toilets were cool too and extremely impressive – they will most likely take off in upper-class Europe in the coming years. We also became a fan of taking our shoes off in certain dining and religious establishments – it made me question why it is acceptable to walk around all day in extremely dirty situations (bathrooms, public transit, etc) than keep our shoes on at home. (We have since altered this habit). Trains were on time, people were polite, food was delicious and everything else i can speak to was great.

Nakamise Shopping Street

I will never forget my time here and have ranked Tokyo in my top three cities that I would gladly live in.