It was a pretty good experience. I went during the cherry blossom season, and it was really beautiful those trees; you don't really get to see things like that in Singapore. Only had one full day of sightseeing thanks to my work commitments, so I am hoping to go there again if possible.
10 Interesting facts about Tokyo (from my observations):
1. People there are huge on recycling, it's pretty cool, we could learn from them. They would actually go to the trouble of removing the plastic cover and straw on their paper cups and throw them in separate bins.
2. They return their plates and utensils after they are done in most eating places except highly priced establishments.
3. They queue up at the train stations while waiting for the trains to arrive.
4. Rubbish bins are hard to find in public areas yet it's really really clean.
5. In some of the small eateries they don't talk while eating. My colleagues and I went to this noodle place and were chatting pretty loudly during dinner, till we realized we were the only ones talking.
6. It's considered rude to use your mobile in trains and buses. Signs are present to put them on silent and use them minimally, and in addition they have courtesy seats where the use of mobiles are prohibited.
7. All the strip clubs and hostess bars in Roppongi district (which is known for its night life) were manned by black guys who would stand at the street and looked for foreigners to tout their clubs to. There was also this street market near Ginza where there were black guys standing at regular intervals along the market which was a little strange.
8. Their toilets are pretty cool, they have this electric seat warmer and this tube that extends on a touch of a button and sprays your ass after you are done. It was kinda weird at first but after a while it actually felt kinda nice.
9. Schoolgirls there wear really short skirts, even when it's freezing (5 - 10 degrees)
10. They have these 'love hotels', which are hotels designed for giving couples absolute privacy. They would have pictures at the lobby of the rooms, you simply select the room you want and select it by pushing a button and you will be given a card key for that room. When you are done loving, you simply insert the card into a slot near the room door and pay your money via a slot machine.
I tried out the roller coaster at Korakuen which scared the shit outta me, the only roller coasters I been on was those mini ones they had in local fun fairs. Yes I admit, I paced around for 1/2 hour before I finally got on it, but it had be raining rather heavily the night before and I was just concerned about my safety so I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of. Oh and I was lucky enough to be put on the front cart. But yeah it was a blast once it ended, I wanted to go again but it was pretty expensive (15 dollars for a ride that lasts less than a minute).
After that I went to Korakuen Park which has to be the most beautiful park I ever seen in my life, it was so tranquil and peaceful that I felt like I could just sit there for hours. I did spent close to two hours there and it was probably my favorite part of the trip.
Lastly I went to Ueno Park where they had a Cherry Blossom festival with boat rides for couples, street stalls that sell food and couples who would be having picnics by the lake. It was all really quite romantic, but I was alone. I tried to go on the boat ride, but the guy in charge stopped me, said something to his fellow colleagues manning the boats after which they all started pointing at me and laughing. Apparently the boat rides were only for couples, and they found it kinda funny that I would wanna go on it alone. I turned around and walked slowly, with their laughter still ringing in my ears, and for some reason I began to think about my buddy. It's funny how even when you are on holiday in another part of the world you can't help thinking about the people you care about the most.
These were the highlights of my trip. Oh and I met this really cute waitress while I was having dinner with a couple of colleagues at this 'Shabu Shabu' place. Shabu Shabu is like a Korean BBQ, but it only consists of raw beef which is very thinly cut so you only need to dip it in the broth for less than a minute before you eat it. Pretty delicious stuff.
Anyway there were obvious sparks between me and her throughout the entire dinner, especially when she lighted up the stove for the broth . I waited till the end of dinner before I asked her out over the weekend and maybe she could show me around. She started pondering for a rather long time before telling me she had to work over the weekend. It was rather unfortunate, I could tell that she really really wanted to go out with me if not for her work. She was probably contemplating abandoning her job to go out with me, which was why she took so long to reply. But I am gonna look her up the next time I go there.
Oh crap. I forgot her name.