Feb 6, 2017
I am an introvert, totally unfit for any form of city life. For those who know another introvert, you would know we are just very awkward people; ultra sensitive to aesthetics, slightly intolerant to having constant noise around. Having lots of people around makes me feel stressed, trying to make small conversations is super uncomfortable, lack of open spaces makes me feel trapped. However, I have managed to survive in Tokyo, the 2nd biggest metropolis in this world, for more than 3 years now. Amazing isn’t it? This is my secret…
Japan is unique, the respect for personal space is something I have not encountered anywhere else. Even when you are walking on a crowded street, you would never have to rub shoulders or bump into anyone (well, maybe except tourists). No one really tries to make extensive small talks with you, a nod to say hi or excuse me will be suffice. Everyone is pleasant and respectful. The ability of spaces for those who needed a moment of silence is everywhere.
Beauty puts me at ease and beauty is everywhere here. Not only do we have beautiful sceneries in the countryside, there are just so many beautiful sights everywhere. Summer, you get plentiful of sunflowers and streams in parks where you can have your kids out of your hair for a morning. Autumn, it’s red and yellow everywhere. Winter, of course you get snow and blue skies. Spring, you get the flowers, not just the plum and sakura blossoms, but the wild daisies on the roadside, the tulips that old grandma planted outside her house, the many many colorful species in the park upkept by volunteers. It is amazing that Japanese have this selfless duty to make the environment beautiful for everyone. All these scenes provide a solace for someone like me, to take a breather and have those quiet moments.
Beauty if in the food produces too. Japanese are very good at using what mother earth has gifted us with. Restaurant menus change with the season, chefs are very careful in bringing out the best of what the respective season can offer. Supermarket shopping is delightful, informing you about the weather changes and challenging you with what you can make for your family. This keeps my mind focused and occupied, like mini projects.
Cafes, the best place for introverts to thrive, amidst the crowd. Tokyo has so many of them, all aesthetically pleasing enough for you to feel at home or want to make your home feel the same way.
Even shopping can be a pleasant experience. Nicely decorated stores, beautiful packaging and the gentleness of shopkeepers all put you at ease.
Ok enough said. I love this place, not just because it’s beautiful, but because it helps tame that monster in me, the monster that creeps out when the world gets too overwhelming for an introvert like me.