So in honor of Leonard Nimoy and the Star Trek legacy, here are nine things Lt. Spock can teach you about Tokyo.
1. “That’s illogical.”
Yes, Lieutenant Spock, I think we’d all agree that Tokyo is highly illogical. From the orderly and systematic train system on one hand and on the other, grown men driving cars with Hello Kitty decals, you can find no shortage of illogical activities to participate in on your trip.
Or how about buying cold beer from vending machines? No I.D. required.
2. “When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Illogical, improbable and delightful, Tokyo is not just Godzilla’s playground, but playground to millions of tourists a year from all over the globe. What do all these tourists (and locals) do? Weird, wild and wonderful stuff. From themed restaurants and bars, to Ninja School to the world’s only parasite museum, Tokyo has some improbable activities for you to experience.
3. “Set phasers to stun.”
No one’s packing heat in Japan, which has one of the very lowest murder rates in the world. Japan has stringent gun control laws and Tokyo one of the safest big cities to visit. So if trouble did arise, Spock would definitely use stun (or perhaps the Vulcan Death Grip on the lowest setting).
4. “It is not life as we know or understand it. Yet it is obviously alive, it exists.”
From cosplay culture, themed restaurants and an obsession with robots, life is different in Tokyo.
6. “Logic is the beginning of wisdom. Not the end.”
Japan’s heritage is rich with tradition (and rules). From the aesthetics of gardens, the ritual tea ceremony, to the art of bonsai, to zen buddhism, Japanese practicality also encompasses the traditions of the spiritual and the aesthetic. It might be “logical” to include a tour of Japanese gardens in your Tokyo itinerary.
7. “Speed is essential.”
There are two Japans: the old and the new. There is the fast, quirky, electric neon of Tokyo and there is the ancient, slow pulse of culture that includes bonsai and zen buddhism. The quick pace of Tokyo demands vending machines (more than 5 1/2 million vending machines selling everything from tea and coffee, noodles in broth and even fresh flowers) and bullet trains going 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour). But even if you’re heading out to the country to slow down and spend the weekend soaking in onsen, you’re gonna get there fast.
8. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
The culture of Japan is starkly different than America in this respect. It’s “we”, not “me”. Japanese culture is group-oriented in contrast to American individualism. Even in rush hour, the chaos seems orderly, controlled and downright polite.
9. “Live long and prosper.”
The Japanese have a long life expectancy and residents of Okinawa have the longest in the world. Okinawans embody the sentiment “Live Long and Proper”. But FYI, the Okinawan Diet may be good for your health, but watch it with the 12-year old aged Okinawan sake. I learned that the hard way… 😉