top of page

Japan: Coins, Colleagues and Pokemon Go!

Not to long ago I had the great opportunity to travel to Tokyo, Japan. I got to go to one of my all time bucket list places and it is something I definitely intend to do again. There are three things I took great note of: my new friends, colleagues and the phenomenon of Pokemon Go!

The coins: One thing I found a little unnerving was how expensive it actually is to live in Japan. I remember I had a brought over roughly $300 there at the start of my journey. This roughly translated to 23,000 yen and given that half of that was going to my stay at a hostel I figured I could make it through the week on $150 dollars. So this left me with one 10,000 yen note and some smaller notes. The fault was that in my mind I treated that 10,000 yen note as a 10 dollar bill. Sure I was careful how I broke it down, but what I didn’t realize till much later was that 10,000 yen is roughly $95. I spent almost a hundred dollars in a day. Yes, I understand this could easily be written off as I’m bad with money, but trust me the aesthetics of holding a 500 yen coin can not be dismissed. Especially as an American, it is hard for me to realize I’m holding a coin that’s worth almost 5 dollars. So my advice to you, future traveler, is to be very careful with money. It disappears quickly if you aren’t careful.

The Colleagues: For my trip to Japan, I ended up going by myself as my friends went other places. Of course I take my own advice and stay in a hostel. There I got to make new friends from all around the world…again!

Had a night on the town with someone from the UK.

Had a night on the town with someone from the UK!

Spent the day with new friends from Japan and a fellow American (who actually works in South Korea with me) in Akihabara:

Had breakfast with people from the Canada, France, Korean, Singapore and more:

I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again when traveling abroad, seriously consider a stay in a hostel. They’re affordable and you get to meet some new people from all over the world.

Pokemon Go: I went to Japan two weeks after the infamous Pokemon Go was released there. As someone who lives in South Korea where they do not have Pokemon Go I was definitely looking forward to getting online. The game was everything I wanted it to be. I was on a train catching Pokemon and everything. I even randomly went out for a late night stroll for the sole purpose to hit level 5 so I could choose a team.


However, what I could not have foreseen was the popularity of the game by its own citizens. Granted yes I knew I would wonder around and see many people playing, but the vast amounts of people playing were astonishing. I took a trip to the Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens and it is not hyperbole to say 9 out of every 10 people there were playing Pokemon Go. I even took pictures!

All Pokemon Go in the background:

More Pokemon Go!

Needless to say the craze has taken hold of the country and I like it. When I get back to a place where I can play Pokemon Go I’m sure I will be one of those same people with my head down wondering and swiping my finger furiously on the screen trying to catch them all.

bottom of page