The Gaijins, The Sashimi and The Sake

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Lisa attended an International Seminar (on Natural Ventilation) over 2 days in Tamachi (Tokyo). The last day was a Friday and I went along to explore the area. This being my first visit to Tokyo, naturally, I’m rather tentative to do anything adventurous. I kept circling the city blocks just to keep my bearings. There wasn’t much in terms of sightseeing or interesting shops even though I passed right by the Tokyo Tower.


At 333 meters, Tokyo Tower is a slight13 meters taller than its “model”, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, and at the time of writing the world's tallest self-supporting steel tower. It was completed in 1958 as a symbol for Japan's rebirth as a major economic power.


Visitors can go up to the main observatory at 150 meters and there is a special observatory at 250 meters to get a bird's eye view of Tokyo. We decided to give Tokyo Tower a skip because it’s well known to be rather cheesy. (Not to mention that they also charge an arm and leg to visit). Every time I hear a foreigner says: “But it looks just like the Eiffel Tower!” a nearby Tokyonite always responds with a quick” “But it’s taller!”


Had I known then what I know now (!), I would’ve hopped onto a train and visited nearby Roppongi Hills for a couple of hours. Nevertheless, as a first-timer, Tokyo was overwhelming. Regardless of whether you stroll through a quiet residential area, visit a gigantic department store or climb off the train in Shinjuku, you just cannot help but feel out of place.