It was difficult for me to imagine Samurai soldiers once rode their horses into battle on the same fields I was now travelling through in a bullet train at over 300 km/h. I could picture them with their flashing armours and mysterious weapons raging into battle but never loosing what Japanese are famous for: honor. Nowadays not everyone quite feels the same way, but you can certainly perceive a feeling of dignity and “bon faire”when you stare into the eyes of the average citizen, perhaps noticing this introspective behaviour when speaking with a passing-by stranger.
Six hours after leaving Fukuoka we were lost in the streets of Tokyo, barely needing to ask for guidance because people approached us wandering if they could be of any help. We had checked a few hotels but prices were ridiculous for a backpacker’s budget, and after a few phone calls we had to settle for a 7000 yen hotel a pleasant young couple had found us. After dropping us at the hotel’s doorstep we bought them a couple of sodas and went to sleep at around midnight, not without having felt a weak earthquake that surprised us for a few seconds.
One week to see Japan is not much time, which meant we already knew we were going to move a lot. We were up early the following morning and made our way to Tokyo’s oldest temple, Sensoji shrine. The great site was suddenly more interesting when we realized that many young couples and lone females were strolling along the streets wearing kimonos, clothes that we thought belonged only to Japan’s past.
we then toured the Shikuju area, world famous because of ts crowded neon-lit streets and its proximity to the red light district, where pretty females paraded sexy mini skirts and male teenagers and beyond exhibited stylish haircuts and preposterous fashion while reading manga, Japanese comic books.
We did not have more time for Tokyo because in out pursuit of cheaper accommodation our first try at couchsurfing had yielded results and we had been invited to spend a couple of mights at Mochan’s place in Shizuoka, near Mt Fuji. This was excellent news because not only was accommodation set for two days but I would finally see this iconic mountain which had been in my mind after seeing an excellent picture of a red Lamborghini Countach with Mt. Fuji in the background half covered with snow when i was 11 years old. And little did we know that couchsurfing could be so much fun…