Ganbarou Nihon!

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I just arrived in Tokyo.

I made my way from the airport to the city with one fixation: what to have for dinner. And after much deliberation I decided on a Yoshinoya beef bowl. Believe me, it’s not like what you get in the U.S. The rice is hot and soft, the meat is flavorful and they serve it in a real bowl, not styrofoam. After enduring a 10-and-a-half-hour flight, I decided to treat myself to a raw egg for 50 yen, which I cracked on top and mixed in with the rice. It’s a sublime meal, and it was only 430 yen ($5.50).

Afterward, I walked around my hotel’s neighborhood, Kabukicho, Tokyo’s infamous red-light district. It’s amazing how many thousands of people walk through the area on a Wednesday night. Japanese people like calling Los Angeles the inaka. If you see Tokyo for yourself, you’ll know why.

On one of the street corners, I ran across this video game billboard with the words “Ganbarou Nihon!” (Hang in there, Japan!). It’s interesting to see how Japan has incorporated these words into their commercial landscape. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing these words more than once during this trip.

Okay, I’m beat. I’ve been up for nearly 24 hours and tomorrow I’m headed to Sendai. Good night!

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Views expressed in this blog series are not necessarily those of Rafu Shimpo.

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