Setagaya: a posh neighborhood in Tokyo

Setagaya is the lovely area where Ceddy and I stayed for our weekend in Tokyo. It’s an upscale neighborhood with some of the most expensive real estate in Tokyo. We rented our host’s apartment through AirBnB. If you haven’t used AirBnB, you should. It’s cheaper than renting a hotel and you get tips from a local host for places to eat and sightsee that aren’t the usual tourist traps. We rented a whole apartment, but you can rent a room in a host’s place, as well.

Though it isn’t known for its shopping malls, there were still plenty of stores in Setagaya.

Storefronts. Tokyo, Japan.

Storefronts. Tokyo, Japan.

Most people rode bikes or walked and took the metro.

Bike parking lot. Tokyo, Japan.

Bike parking lot. Tokyo, Japan.

The apartment we rented was a ten minute walk from the Sangenjaya metro station.

Fountain outside the Sangenjaya metro station. Tokyo, Japan.

Fountain outside the Sangenjaya metro station. Tokyo, Japan.

It was really easy to get around the city using the metro since everything was translated in English.

Helpful metro signs, if you don't read Japanese. Tokyo, Japan.

Helpful metro signs, if you don’t read Japanese. Tokyo, Japan.

Unlike Atlanta’s MARTA trains which arrive every 15 to 20 minutes, Tokyo’s metro trains arrive every three to five minutes.

Inside the Sangenjaya metro station. Tokyo, Japan.

Inside the Sangenjaya metro station. Tokyo, Japan.

The platforms are always packed. (This is not the largest number of people that tried to cram into the same train.)

Crowd at the Sangenjaya metro station. Tokyo, Japan.

Crowd at the Sangenjaya metro station. Tokyo, Japan.

The signs with directions to landmarks were extremely helpful.

Signs to landmarks. Tokyo, Japan.

Signs to landmarks. Tokyo, Japan.

I’ll be writing about Carrot Tower, one of Setagaya’s most famous landmarks, in my next post.

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“Why would girls wear filmy sundresses and cowboy boots on the train?”

Whenever Mike rides Marta to (and from) work, he asks me questions about the fashion trends he sees.

“I rode the train back home last night and saw somethin’ strange.”

“Was it the lady who holds the standing rail between her buttcheeks instead of her hands?”

“No! Nothin’ that exciting.” Mike laughed. “I was just wonderin’ — why would girls wear filmy sundresses and cowboy boots on the train?”

“What age group were the girls?”

“High schoolers. Their moms were wearin’ the same type of outfits! What event has that dress code?”

“Were they white girls?”

“Yeah, most of ’em were blondes.”

“There was a Taylor Swift concert at the Philips Arena last night, so that’s probably where they went.”

“That’d make sense! They got off at the Civic Center stop.” Mike frowned, “My spouse would be appalled to see their impractical use of boots.”

“True, your wife wears boots because actually works on farms with horses.” I added, “She’d also think Taylor Swift was pop, not country.”

“I heard that song about some guy bein’ trouble walkin’ in.”

“What’d you think?”

“She’s definitely not country. Plus that song’s got that womp-womp-womp dubstep echo shit y’all like.”

“Valid points.”

“Whatever happened to Dolly? Or Reba? Even she was more country than that!”

“Dolly still performs, though the excessive Botox seems to limit her range. Reba is an actress now.”

“I’ve lost all hope for the future of country music if it’s come to this.”

“Maybe Taylor Swift will go back to her roots after this album.”

“The girl’s from suburban Pennsylvania — her roots are less country than yours!”

“I lived in Birmingham for eight years.”

“Exactly my point.”

“You haven’t heard my awesome rendition of ‘Friends in Low Places.'”

“Karaoke night for the next company outing! Gotta let everyone in on your secret penchant for Garth Brooks.”

“I just like that one song.”

“That’s what they all say.”

“Okay, there’s also the one with my name in it that’s decent –”

“You have his whole anthology, don’tcha?”

“…”

“I knew it!”

“You can’t tell anyone!”

“Nah, you’re losin’ your street cred today, ma’am!”

Platform 9 3/4

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Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station. London, United Kingdom. 01.25.09.

After enduring the disappointment of never
receiving a Hogwarts acceptance letter at age eleven,
a decade later, I traveled across the pond
to find that magic existed in
the King’s Cross tube station.