Being a resident in one of the big tourist cities in the world, quite often people will ask me for tips on where to go in Tokyo (and they did the same when I was in Sydney).
The problem is that I don’t really have that many hobbies. I take photos (when I get the chance, and I’m never really happy with them), I write (which doesn’t really require much tourism) and I play with my kids in the park.
So when people ask me for travel tips, I can only think about the crazy, far-away places that I’ve been.
I know that Tokyo is an exciting city. I just can’t find anything that would motivate me to go out on a weekend and do something. The closest we’ve come to doing any activities here is going to the zoo or aquarium. So those are usually what I recommend, because apart from Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree, I just don’t know what else is going on in Tokyo. I know that there are heaps of festivals going on at the moment (as evidenced by the number of people in Yukatas and Jimbei), but I don’t even know how to look up what is going on where.
So recently I’ve started trying to look for interesting things to do. When I was in Hamburg a couple of weeks ago I spent a day in Minatur Wunderland; the world’s biggest model train system. It has 15km (about 10 miles) of track, and it also has a fully functional airport, which includes airplanes landing, taxiing, waiting at the gate as the support vehicles whirl around it, then pushing back, taxiing, and taking off again. I swear, I spent about an hour just watching that.
I should probably buy a Tokyo guide book so I can find similar things here. It was only after visiting this place that I found out that my wife likes minatures as well (although she wasn’t overly impressed by my anime figure collection when we first met), so we’ll find a place like this soon enough.
I think part of the problem is that I’ve been forcing myself to be a super executive business tosser over the past few years. Apart from the occasional youtube binge, I’ve been trying to make sure that there is some kind of “value” to what I’m doing. I hate that feeling of wanting to kill time; knowing that you can’t get time back and that you should treasure every second. That, I think, has pushed me into crazy burnout mode.
I’ve got my first real holiday (i.e. not related to bringing a child into the world) starting from this weekend. I think I have to do one demo in that period, but apart from that I’ll be totally free. Time to find an onsen and relax for a day. And maybe try and take photos of birds again.
An update for those of you waiting on Arctic Gale: the artist has finished his move and is drawing again. He’s posted a couple of images and has told me that he has worked on my cover. But we’ll see how long that takes. Once I get the jpeg then I upload that and click “finished” on Kindle and then it will be available. I should really write the release post. Or maybe I did already. I have two drafts standing by; maybe it was one of those.