In California there are some towns that people who do not live in that town tend to actively avoid. It’s generally for different reasons and the reasons themselves are generally not as serious or as true as everyone thinks. Of course, the main reason that people tend to avoid these areas is because there have been nasty rumors about the places for many years and over time they just tend to build up and be accepted as fact. When I was younger, I would often go to these cities and see for myself what they were about. Some of the smaller towns were not actually so friendly to people from outside of town visiting and they would often investigate and approach my friends and me. After a short confrontation however there was never anything really serious that came from it.
In Japan there are even less areas that are not worth going to. Although I have heard rumors of certain areas being dangerous or filled with crime, I have never felt in any real danger at any point in time during my time living in Japan. When an area begins to feel hostile to even a small degree, I get nostalgic for those times that my friends and I went to those Californian neighborhoods that were not expecting us.
That being said, Tokyo Station is a place that I actively avoid going to. Actually, the reasons are very similar to why one might avoid a dangerous part of a city. Tokyo Station is one of the most hostile environments I have to go to on a regular basis. Tokyo Station is a very important station in Japan and it might even be considered convenient or at the very least very useful. I cannot really disagree much with the second point.
Tokyo Station has bullet trains and many train lines that go to many places around Japan at nice clips. The outside of Tokyo Station is also quite attractive. The Marunouchi side has a very classical and elegant appearance. It might even be considered beautiful as it faces the Imperial Gardens. The Yaesu side has a distinct modern design that is a nice contrast to the aforementioned Marunouchi Side. There are also many trendy and delicious shops to be found in and around the station.
However, the inside of Tokyo Station is not great. The central JR portion is tight and claustrophobic and the people who wander it are all walking at indecipherable speeds. Many of them have rolling luggage and take their time. It’s nearly impossible to move at a hurried pace without an abnormally high-risk of injury to yourself or other people. The ones who do move quickly do so at a reckless speed and usually are very clean cut and carry an air of professionalism that belies their brusque comportment and disregard for others. There are also many shops that create pockets of immobile people that must be dodged in order to reach your destination. In order to access certain lines, conveyor belts must be taken to travel far and finally deep into the ground. Although this is an impressive feat of engineering that the creators should be proud of, in execution, given the mixture of regular passengers and passengers who come from other cities, it becomes an experience that requires the utmost patience. My main feeling when entering Tokyo Station is that I must give up any wishes of leaving it quickly and just accept whatever fate has in store for me on that particular day.
nasty (adj.) - unpleasant and unkind
clip (n) - the speed at which something happens
claustrophobic (adj.) - not having enough space for people to feel comfortable
indecipherable (adj.) - impossible to read or understand
belies (v) – to fail to give a true impression or to show something to be false
brusque (adj.) - talking or behaving in a very direct, brief, and unfriendly way