The top tip is: just go. It won’t be the futuristic Babylon that you expected but more the projection of the 80s which dreamt of it, and it will be unparalleled (also might not stay this way forever).
Walking down some well-documented neighborhoods -Shibuya, Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and the like- is enough to dose you on vertical neon, food stalls, high fashion, sararimen, shrines, crazy trinkets, nylon umbrellas. Assuming you’ll evening stroll through one or two of those, here are a few extra, focused, things to look up or under for.
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Alleys jammed with tiny izakayas, real sararimen nests.
Celebrated ones: Piss alley in Shinjuku, Nonbei in Shibuya, around and under the railway bridge at Shimbashi.
The artificial islands and the bay
Where you realize that everything solid in your field of vision is manmade.
Radio Center electronics mall
Radio Center is a sensation. A small passage close to Akihabara metro station (35.698316, 139.771861). And an old, half-used, three-storied narrow building next to it. Grab it while you still can.
Nativity, “Basil cakes”, piles of Christmas sweets,
sponges and spices in the old downtown,
cured meat, neoclassical buildings, end-of-year shopping in the sun.
The moment of realizing that all Christmas decorations in essence try to reproduce this ambience.
Night is drawing closer …
… the halls of Cambridge colleges are being all set up.
How about a Greek snack break…
…with the quintessential street food to choose from…
…spinach pie, the odd pizza, sausage roll, and -drum roll- eight kinds of cheese pie!
I remember days spent in constant awe of beauty,
now with memories of people that I don’t know.
The end of year is closing in on us, much like the ghost of Christmas Past.
Gatwick and its fluo palette turning everything lucid, like with the eyes of the ghost of Christmas Present.
At the very last pub one sees before leaving England, best quote placement ever (spoiler alert ^^).
Around a whole world waiting to happen, like offered by a ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.