ROPPONGI – I found Roppongi to be way too touristy and except the Tokyo Tower there was nothing which really interested me. It is similar to Shinjuku and Shibuya, but all the bars are more likely to be “Irish Pubs” and the night clubs just play the hottest 100 radio mainstream songs. Many foreign bouncers (mostly from Africa or the Carrabians) hand out flyers and try to get your attention with lame phrases like “Hey most beautiful girl in the world, what’s your pretty face doing tonight?”. In any other areas in Tokyo I would often walk hours without seeing another Geishin ( Japanese for foreigner) and I had to use my small Japanese vocabulary to communicate, but in Roppongi everybody seemed to speak the same language. I met some people who enjoyed this area, but I personally would not recommend spending a lot of time there. The only nice thing is the Tokyo Tower which offers an amazing view over the whole city. Best time to go there is probably around sunset, since you can see the city during the day and discover its beauty once all the street light start to illuminate Tokyo. It is a bit overprized in my opinion but I still did not regret going there.
THE IMPERIAL PALACE – The Imperial Palace opens its doors only two weeks a year to the public and my friends and I were lucky enough to be there just at the right timing. The palace is surrounded by a beautiful garden area with many different kinds of flowers, trees and small lakes with Koi fish in it. Just before we were about to enter it, an old and friendly guy from Tokyo joined our group and started giving as a little tour around the area, telling as everything he knew about this place. To be honest, at the beginning we were quite surprised about this unexpected guide and wondered if he might wanted to have some money afterwards. But as soon as we left the building, he just waved us good-bye without asking for anything.
AKIHABARA – This area is like a robot city. Everything seems so futuristic and modern and especially during the night, when all the building start lighting up, it has it very own vibe. Many Anime (Japanese cartoon) fans spend their time in this area and you can find them in the most amazing and colourful customs while they visit buildings like the Pokemon Center, gaming halls, electronic device shops and Maid Cafes. Unfortunately I never made it to one of those cafes, but I heard a lot about them. Apparently, if you go there you will find all the waitresses dressed up as cute, flirty and sexy maids, greeting men as their “masters” and serve you tea and cake. If you pay more, they might join your table and play some childish games with you. Lots of fun if you are in a group with some friends, maybe a little bit akward if you go there by yourself. While I was strolling around in Akihabara I ended up being in a side street where I saw some extremely young looking girls, dressed up in sexy school uniforms and asking men to join them. While I was just about to take a picture of them, a man in a suit stormed up to me, waving with his hands and symbolising me, that is it not allowed to take photos of these girls. One day later I met a lovely girl from Canada, who helped me while I was completely lost (again) and we had a delicious sushi dinner together. She was already living and working in Tokyo for quite a while and told me about those High School Girls. She said, that those girls are officially just grown up women dressed up as school girls, trying to get men to buy them dinner, presents or even just give them money for spending time with them. Prostitution is forbidden in Japan, but it is allowed to pay for dates or (and I am not kidding) to cuddle with somebody as long as the woman is old enough. But many men look for actual school girls and it became kind of trendy for young girls to start dating these old men, which buy them expensive clothes and jewellery. Neither their parents or anybody else has any idea about what those girls are doing, so I am not very surprised that their “manager” was not happy with me taking pictures of them.