{Japan: Explore} Scenes From a Bus in Tokyo

tokyo traffic

In a Nutshell:

Full Report:

On our 2008 Japan trip, we took a morning tour of Tokyo that included stops at Tokyo Tower, Meiji Jingu Shrine, and the Imperial Palace.  We (M, my brother, and I) were picked up near our hotel (Tokyo Hilton, Shinjuku) and began our trek towards Tokyo Tower.

As the bus approached the corner we saw a huge group of people making their way to work:

going to work, tokyo crosswalk,

Not a happy one in the bunch!

Just looking at them made me feel like I was playing hooky!  And here’s some more somber faced Tokyo-ites on a passing bus:

passing bus

There were some people peddling on bicycles for their morning commute.

peddling to work

another man peddling to work

I had to take this picture of a Suica ad because I love penguins:

Japanese ad

Flip phones! This picture is showing its age.

In case you’re wondering, the ad appears to be for a Mobile app for Suica.  Suica is a pre-paid card that allows one to travel on JR trains.  The penguin is their main mascot.

We passed a number of taxis on the way to Tokyo Tower:

Japanese taxi

The taxi driver is wearing a suit!

I was really impressed by the fact that taxi drivers in Japan wear suits.  The thought of a New York cabbie wearing one is almost ludicrous.  All the cab drivers I encountered were so polite and professional.

Soon after I saw this man on his motorcycle, go USA!

man on motorcycle

Easy Rider does Tokyo!

A Corolla dealership!  Or maybe it was just a showroom.  Either way, it was interesting to see cars on a building’s second floor:

side of a building, Tokyo, Japan

And then we came upon the king of discount stores: Don Quixote!

Don Quixote

The only time I went into a Don Quixote store was back in 2007 so my memories of it are pretty vague.  I’ll have to go back on this upcoming trip and take some pictures.

My brother got excited when he saw a Yoshinoya from the bus’s window.  I should mention that this was his first trip EVER to Japan.  And this bus tour was taking place on our first morning in Japan.  So he had no idea that Yoshinoyas are EVERYWHERE.


Yoshinoya sighting, 1 of 300,765,987

Then I got excited because I saw a Hanamaru Udon shop.  They’re not quite as ubiquitous as Yoshinoyas but I’m sure a Tokyo-ite would have rolled their eyes if they saw me squealing over one.

hanamaru udon

We stopped at a light and a bus full of school children pulled up next to us.  A bunch of us waved at them and this cute boy gave us the peace sign:

boy giving peace sign, Tokyo, Japan

And then, what did we glimpse from our window but the Tokyo Tower!

tokyo tower

I will definitely do a write-up about the tour we took on a future blog post in the upcoming weeks!