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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Japan

Japan... a place I never thought I would go... it was the most challenging and difficult week of my professional career.

I worked 12 hour days every day, I did about 45 hours of travel in a week, and the heat index was 115 degrees while I was there.

I want to focus on the positive things as much as I can.

Akihabara


Akihabara is a part of Tokyo built for nerds the world over. After World War II, it became known as Japan's electronic mecca. Now it's a place to buy old videogames and statues of your favorite Anime characters.

I was on the hunt for some weird videogame items... and had too many choices and froze. So I didn't buy anything. But it was fun digging through the stacks of all of these hole in the wall stores and look at these old Japanese video games.

The awkward part of Akihabara are these popular places called Maid Cafes. 

Essentially 20 something women dress up like cats and 8th grade school girls and call you master and serve you food and drinks.

I did not go into a Maid Cafe, but I did accidentally end up in an alleyway where there were a dozen of them and had to run a gauntlet of dodging young pirate ladies trying to hand me fliers for their club.

The Food

The food was amazing. Every building in downtown Tokyo has 6 restaurants in it and every one of them is packed with a line out the door.

I had the best ramen of my life, I had conveyor belt sushi, I ate octopus, squid, swordfish, and eel (by far the best of the 4).


We ate at a place where I had to take my shoes off and sit on the floor (but not really, there was a hole in the floor to put your feet)

The Vending Machine Life

Vending machines are everywhere, but instead of getting sodas from them, you get everything. Iced coffee, energy drinks, water, mineral water, sandwiches, tempura ... everything. And it's good... everything is so good.

The Respect and Order

Everything in Japan was about respect. It was draining on my mind sometimes, but I liked it.

You don't just toss your credit card across the counter at the cashier. You hold both corners of the card and present it to them.

You don't cross the cross walk unless you have a green light, even if there are no cars coming.

You stand on the left side, you walk on the right of the escalator.

No one smokes outside. Instead, you go into smoking rooms that are always separated by at least a hallway so you don't have to smell it.

Penguin Bar

The absolute highlight of the trip was going to the Penguin Bar. You make a reservation, sit at your table, order a drink, and then go meet the 5 penguins they have in a habitat in the back of the bar.

Then at 9:30 PM, table by table you are ushered to the back of the bar... to feed... the freaking... penguins.


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