(See page 2 for the German version)
My time as an exchange student in Tokyo is filled with lots of great memories of all the things I did and saw in Tokyo, student parties, Japanese classes and intercultural dorm life. However, what had the biggest impression on me at that time were the wonderful and interesting people with whom I have shared joys and sorrows of that exceptional everyday life. Recently I was able to meet with two of them at Tokyo Station.
We agreed to meet inside the maze that is Tokyo Station building, which was not the easiest thing to do, indeed (http://www.jreast.co.jp/estation/stations/1039.html). With most Shinkansen rail lines departing and ending from there, and with over 3000 trains daily stopping there, Tokyo Station is the busiest railway station in Japan. Even if, in terms of numbers of people getting on and off the trains, Shinjuku Station may be the busiest in Japan, thanks to its extensive and long passageways inside (including the Character Street, a passage, where you can buy the cutest mascot character merchandise and Okashi Land, an area, which is famous for its many sweets shops), Tokyo station still is more than confusing. Nevertheless, we all managed to meet at Ts Tantan restaurant (http://ts-restaurant.jp/tantan/) somehow, which was also a nice opportunity for me to eat my very first (vegetarian) ramen noodles.
In order to escape from the hectic station for some time, we headed to the Marunouchi exit after lunch and went up the elevator of one of the high buildings that are surrounding Tokyo Station. From there you can enjoy the view of the European style station building, which seems to try to stretch out towards the skies majestically, even though it is more and more surrounded by a threatening numbers of skyscrapers. It is good to see that somewhere between all the modernity, efforts are being made to preserve a bit of history, too: Tokyo Station celebrated its 100th anniversary this year since its opening in 1914… whereas I ‘celebrated’ the reunion with my two friends that day 😉