Discovering Tokyo…10,000 steps at a time

There’s a lot to see in Tokyo, and many ways to see it. A favorite way my wife and I see Tokyo is by walking.

Sure, taxis are plentiful and faster. Trains and buses abound. And even a bike will get you places a little quicker.

But Tokyo is an easily walkable city. It’s very safe – I have yet to wander into an area where I was the least bit concerned about my safety. There are sidewalks just about everywhere, and if not, there is usually a pedestrian lane marked along the side of the street. Drivers here are amazingly considerate of pedestrians. If there is a walker anywhere near a crosswalk, the drivers stop. Always. The consistency is unbelievable.

Walking lets us truly interact with the city. We see things you can’t notice when zipping by in a taxi. There are the smells of the wonderful Japanese food…the sounds of people talking and laughing…the heat of the summer now, and the chill of winter a little later.

We’ve often discovered parks we never would have visited, restaurants far off the beaten path, and shopping areas that are so much more satisfying than the mega monster malls.

How do you walk around Tokyo? Well, there are books like Tokyo – 29 Walks in the World’s Most Exciting City that have some good ideas. Or, go online and find a map or look for a specific landmark or tourist site. For us, it’s often just take a train to a station we haven’t visited before, and hop off. Exit the station, look around, and that’s where the adventure begins.

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My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company. UPDATE 2023... After 4-1/2 years in Tokyo, we returned to Atlanta. Now we are heading to London for a three year job assignment!

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