Tokyo is a place of wonder. Never in my life have I been to a city where the words respect and order came to mind so often in a day. My admiration of the beauty and kindness of the city was stoked as I watched a man bow in gratitude to the barista upon receiving his coffee. From quaint flower shops to book stores purely devoted to vintage photography to delicious espresso carefully poured into porcelain, I was in a constant state of pleasure. Then there were the stranger sides of Tokyo, Akihabara with its video game dens, cat cafés and multi-level sex shops, one of which did not allow women past the second floor. It was pure stimulation.
In Piss Alley we ate at an Eel stand that has been there since 1948. We went on a ramen bender that led us to chains with private dining stalls where the servers never see you and your ramen is passed through a bamboo curtain. It is a city of tastes, sights and smells. The streets were remarkably quiet at night for being in the largest metropolitan area in the world. On our last day in the city we encountered a very orderly demonstration themed: No War! Only Peace! Our 7 days in Tokyo fixed Japan in my mind as a country that I intend to spend a significant amount of time in throughout my life.