Although we planned most of our day’s activities and routes before we left the hotel, navigating the streets of Tokyo was not as intuitive as I thought it would be. The blocks aren’t organized the way they are in the States. Without Google Maps, and as hopelessly bad at directions as we both are, imagine two blind mice in Ray-Bans tapping their way down crisscrossing dark alleyways – that was me and Vic, haha!
Luckily, the Japanese are the nicest people in the world. One night, before we had wifi, Yuichi (our Airbnb host) recommended a shabu shabu place near the Shibuya station. Great! However, once we exited the station, the zigzagging streets that seem to have no rhyme or reason to the way they were structured, confused the hell out of us. We stood there, unsure of what direction to turn, as we stared at the useless blue dot on our phone.
Eventually, we mustered up the courage to ask two Japanese guys in business suits walking rapidly on their way to an important meeting or maybe a hot double date (Japanese people walk with purpose, so to stop them in their tracks to ask for directions was a little daunting at first). They didn’t speak English, so we sheepishly pointed to our phone with the address to the restaurant hoping they would know where the restaurant was. They did not, but they whipped out their phone and looked it up.
Oh, but it gets better.
Once one of them had the directions up on his phone, he muttered something in Japanese to the other and, without hesitation, he turned to us and said, “We go.” Thank God! Keep in mind this place wasn’t around the corner from where we were. We walked down one and a half blocks, traversed over a walking bridge, then scurried along for a couple more blocks before we found the place. Wow! Right? They didn’t just point us in the right direction – they freakin’ went out of their way to make sure we got to our destination.
I am sold: I love Japanese people. Whenever you are lost, don’t be a bitch (not a bitch in the sense of a bitch, bitch, but you know what I mean). Go loco and just ask a local.