Posted by: patriciamar | September 24, 2018

Welcome to Tokyo

Last week I moved to Tokyo.

I live in Tokyo.

For now, I live in Tokyo.

Simplistic thoughts like these have often appeared in my head over the past 7 days.

So I guess… that I live here.


I have been to Tokyo twice now, and the dominant impression has been how very easy it has been.   There are so many people living here.  Current estimates put the population of the urban area (23 wards) at more than 36 million people.  Wikipedia says 39 million.

Can you imagine that number?

If you have been to any large cities or metropolitan areas, this means one thing.  The city must be organized.  There must be public transportation, facilities, public services, green spaces, housing, eateries, restrooms– all the things that regular people need every day.  The great thing about Tokyo is that there is.  It’s organized and clean, and in some ways (like the garbage and recycling system), it’s a little strict.  I like this.  There are rules and pictures and diagrams and if you follow them, you’ll be fine.

My first night in Tokyo earlier this spring, I knew that there was a possibility I would be moving here.  It wasn’t 100%, so neither was I.   My task for that first night was to find out if I would make it.  I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve lived in other countries (Mexico, Holland), but this was a new country and I speak very, very little Japanese, so I needed to know–just for me– if I could handle it.

I could.  And that wasn’t because I’m a travel genius or anything.  It was because I walked slowly, looked around a lot, and whenever it became too much, I just maneuvered my way to a quiet pillar and stood still.  After a minute or two, the intimidating click of heels became comforting, and it was easy to see that there was, always is, a system in place.

Arrows tell you where to walk, bike, stand, pay, insert your card, eat, order, take the elevator, find food, find the restroom, flush the toilet, and take off your shoes.  It’s even clear how to turn on the musical water noise if you don’t want someone else to hear you peeing (This is a thing.)


I’ll be here for a year.  It should be fun.  Please come and visit.



  1. i am planning to live in Tokyo next year 🙂 i was there only once but I feel like I need an interesting experience in a city like that 🙂 regards from Lisbon, PedroL

    Liked by 1 person

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