I am uncharacteristically uncertain about my feelings for Tokyo. It is not as I expected - having arrived on Saturday, it is less busy and crowded and overwhelming. Yet whether standing on the ground or 49 stories up, it is an immense city, stretching both upward and outward in all directions in brightly colored lights and quickly moving trains.
I am relieved, that much I know, for this is my last hotel on the Asian trip and I've made it through the days thus far without incident and, especially considering the Asian Migraine of Misery, have performed reasonably well. I have but two more major meetings before I'm allowed to depart this particular island nation for the more comfortable environs of the Midwest.
Though tomorrow is the designated Day o' Sightseeing - prepare for the photos! - today was nice as well. I woke, showered, dressed and packed. Took the train with colleagues and settled in for a few afternoon meetings in the city before checking into our hotel. We then went for dinner, eating Japanese food high above the city.
"Animal, vegetable or mineral?" Adam asked as I nibbled a piece of tempura.
"Animal," I answered slowly, knowing it was some creature but unsure of which one. "It's a little fishy, but fairly mild."
Our host hesitated and I swallowed quickly in case I had to gag after he told me, and considered doing so when he announced it was eel. I glanced out the window at the lights and movement and color and took a breath and finished the crunchy bit of food. We had noodles and beef, chicken and tofu and vegetables and dumplings and soup. I tried hot and cold sake - both were actually very nice - and had to hang on to Adam when I went to look out the window.
"Dizzy," I explained when he glanced at me. "And maybe a little drunk."
And perhaps that's why I'm unsure of Tokyo - I almost feel as though it belongs in a comic book. That it's somehow too...something...to be real. Perhaps I'll feel more grounded tomorrow, but for tonight, I half-expected to see a superhero swooping dramatically from the sky.