Leaving Tokyo

Yes, we have left Tokyo for good! I mean Tokyo, the station, not the city.

The company I work for has moved its main offices located near the Tokyo station to a new location west of the Imperial palace.

Tokyo station will probably be remembered by most visitors for its size and its crowdedness especially on business days.  With over 3,000 trains passing through it every day, it is indeed the busiest station in Japan in terms of daily number of trains.  And because it is the starting and terminal point of most of Japan's shinkansen or bullet-train, it is where you will find many travelers, including foreigners, heading for the inaka or provinces.  It is also the rendezvous point of many domestic tour package participants who are mostly ojisans and obasans (elderly Japanese).

Personally, though, I will miss Tokyo station for its proximity to Akihabara and Ueno. Akihabara, a major shopping area for computer and electronic goods, is where I sometimes head to after work whenever I need to buy (or just window-shop for) something techie. Ueno, on the other hand, particularly its Ameyokocho market, is where I go to buy Filipino food and ingredients whenever Cerg and I crave for a taste of home.

Tokyo station area will be missed, however, not just for its wonderful places but more so for the times spent with people and friends I've met therein.  I will miss startling my friend from BNP Paribas every time I see her at the station.  I will miss having lunch with Captain Jim whose favorite song is "meet me halfway across the stations". (Parang ang senti ko yata, e magkikita-kita pa naman kami sa kapilya. hehe.)

Perhaps, living and working in a foreign land makes one more sentimental and prone to seeking company of people from home.  Or maybe, it’s just that we find comfort in knowing that a friend is a few blocks away in case an incident (something like a 9-11) happens, or more likely, when we need something (like borrow money) from a friend.  The adage “a friend in need is a friend indeed” may be true after all.


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