To be honest I wanted the piece I wrote on Ito to be the first thing on this, but since Im rubbish with computers and my keyboard has an interesting tendency to reset to Japanese every so often, Ill leave it for now.

I want to write something about trips I’ve taken within Tokyo and the surrounding area to help others find out about places nearby. Getting around in Japan can be pretty intimidating if you don’t speak much Japanese, as most maps only list places in impossible-to-decipher kanji and unlike everywhere else Ive traveled, the roads arent signposted. This combined with my chronic ability to get lost means I spend a lot of time wandering around aimlessly,  as cities go this isn’t a bad one to wander about in, but the sheer incomprehensible size of the place means you could be wandering for quite some time. I’ve lived here for 7 months now and still have no idea where anything is. I like to picture my mental map of Tokyo being like those from the Middle Ages with the squashed-looking continents, huge blank areas simply marked “Here be dragons” in swirly Gothic script and illustrations of mermaids and dragons round the edges. In reality my mental map of Tokyo could be drawn on a beer met. In felt tip.

So this is also to help me remember where I am, how I got there, and where Im going next. Ill try to make some posts fairly neutral so you get an idea of what a place is like and what you can do there, and some that are more personal descriptions you can check out if youre interested. Travel is one of the most rewarding and interesting things I can think to do with the time I have, and I don’t intend to waste more of it shuffling through tourist trap gift shops or trudging through the rain trying to find a good deal on a bowl of ramen. I definitely don’t want to spend a whole hour lost in a department store again. So I hope this helps