On Friday my friends and I left ICU campus to explore the concrete jungle of Tokyo! With so many different city spots to discover we settled on exploring Shibuya. I think that if you (a traveler to Tokyo) try to cram “seeing” this city in 24 hours you’re stretching yourself thin. There is so much to see that it’s easy to find yourself amused in Shibuya alone for a full day. But more on that thought later.
For many students, participating in this summer program has allowed them to visit Japan for the first time, so people seem always willing to go into Tokyo and make the most of their time here.
Tokyo is such a diverse place and accepting of foreigners, but I suppose when you’re a unique group like us (pictured above) you stand out slightly more than your average group of Japanese friends.
When we stepped off the train station in Shibuya we were approached by a TV Film Crew. The film crew asked us if we would be interested in participating in a TV series they were working on that would be highlighting foreigners reactions to Japanese culture. The TV group would be taking us to a amusement park and having us walk through a haunted house!
If you know me, I’m not the one to willingly subject myself to being scared and although I wouldn’t say I’m risk adverse, I definitely prioritize safety in all situations especially when I travel. So naturally I was hesitant to hop on a bus with foreigners and be whisked away to a haunted house for television.
Nonetheless, my friends convinced me and we found ourselves at the amusement park 40 minutes later. On the bus ride there they offered us candy and juice, and I thought to myself I’ve broken every rule I was told to keep when I was younger. But we arrived in one piece, but maybe the real terrifying part was next…
The haunted house was scary because it wasn’t a ride and you had to walk through the house until you made it through the house to the exist. The fear of not knowing what’s next really keeps you on the edge and makes anything that pops out at your three times more scary. There were moments that I can now look back at and laugh about.
And we survived!
After all the groups walked through the haunted house we returned to Shibuya. We were dropped off right where we were picked up and it almost felt like a dream, for a second I was thinking to myself, “did that really just happen?!”
We enjoyed the rest of our evening wandering Shibuya which transforms into something even more special at night.
On the way home, if you’re leaving Tokyo late remember that the train gets really busy. Everyone in the city is trying to leave to go home. I definitely don’t recommend the last train “しゅうでん” because it will most likely be packed shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face. It’s a little bit of a journey home so I always find myself sighing a breath of relief when I arrive on campus.
I will never forget my adventure in Shibuya!