Big City Times

We decided to get off the farm for a few days and make our way to the big city. And when I say big I mean so huge it makes your brain hurt. Wikipedia says the 'Greater Tokyo Metro Area' has roughly 32 million people in 1,500 square miles. My home state North Dakota, by comparison, has roughly 684,000 people in 70,000 square miles. That's a dramatic difference in the way human beings relate to their surroundings and to the land. When you are in the city of Tokyo it is remarkable how living spaces, shops, transport, and all the other things that make life tick are stacked on top of each other. I have never experienced a city so busy and efficient and packed to the gills.

Often I have heard Japan described as a mash up of the old and the new. Temples thousands of years old sharing space with the world's most advanced railway system. Lights and electronics at every turn and yet you still see people walking around in traditional wooden sandals. Here is an example of one such contrast:

We came across charming oddities as well. Take, for instance, the amazingly real plastic food used by restaurants in their display cases. There is a street in Tokyo where many stores sell this stuff. Plastic food is definitely a contrast from the crops and vegetables we have been raising on the ARI farm.

Fancy fake spaghetti

A typical restaurant display

These noodles are not made of plastic. They even came with a raw egg that Anna had to crack into the bowl.

They were made by this gentleman

Foamy green tea was also real

Another charming little oddity is the advertising you find all over Tokyo. American celebrities often let their faces promote various products (think of Bill Murray's character in Lost in Translation). Anyhow, here is one of the greats slinging coffee:

TLJ is definitely the boss

Our three day trip in a city so big was too short, but here are a few more things we saw and enjoyed.


4 responses to “Big City Times”

  1. Amber Marten Bergeson says :

    So fun to SEE your faces and journey with you! We’re so proud of you two!!! Thanks for writing!

  2. DeNee hansen says :

    Love it all, Pete and Anna

  3. Paula says :

    It looks like Japan agrees with you.

  4. VanderVeens says :

    Pete and Anna,
    We are really enjoying all the details of Japan and your experiences you are sending.
    What a great experience for you both……ENJOY

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