Singapore has reminded me just how big Tokyo is

I’m in Singapore. I’ll be here for the next 3 weeks doing orientation with OMF before heading on to Japan. I’m learning more about what the phrase ‘in between’ means . . . but for now I’m still a bit too jet-lagged for topics like that, so instead here’s my initial impression of Singapore.

A photo of the Singapore skyline

Photo courtesy of OMF International

Now it is my first time in Singapore and I’ve only been here for a few days, but so far I like it here. It is hot and humid I will grant you that. But as long as you walk slow and don’t go outside between the hours of 10am and 7pm it’s not so bad. And as you’d expect from Asia, the food is great.

One thing I have to say though: the city is not so impressive.

At least not compared to Tokyo.

Now before an Singapore-lovers start hating on me, let me say this: the Botanic Gardens are most definitely impressive. Amazing in fact. The word ‘garden’ is misleading. ‘Jungle’ would be more appropriate.

The first time I went for a run through it was awesome. Literally. I was in awe as I ran through it: Impossibly tall trees, flowing waterfalls, shimmering lakes, a beatbox-battle of birds vs. insects, and just enough other people around to reassure me that I probably wasn’t going to get dragged sideways into the overgrowth.

So the Singapore Botanic Gardens = breath-taking.

But the Singapore skyline = not that much.

At least not compared to Tokyo.

I’m not saying it’s ugly. You could take some very nice photos of the Marianna bay. The museum/art gallery building is very cool, and the hotel with the boat/banana-shaped swimming pool on top is an interesting sight.

But it’s not Tokyo.

Admittedly my experience of global cities is very limited. But I’ve been to a few of the big ones like London and New York. The thing is that they just don’t compare to Tokyo. In my experience Tokyo is to other cities what Singapore’s Botanic Garden is to the moved lawns and pot plants of English ‘gardens’.

And the weird thing is that I never thought I’d like Tokyo. It is kinda too big. And by ‘kinda’ I mean ‘clearly and definitely.’ I have always said that I wouldn’t want to live in Tokyo . . . But for some reason I am starting to change my mind. I think I might be able to learn to love it. I’m certainly in awe of it. I mean, how does it work? How does it not implode under the sheer mass of people and buildings? Just where are the city limits?

Like I said, not so profound – but hey, I woke up at 3am yesterday . . . cut me some slack!

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One thought on “Singapore has reminded me just how big Tokyo is

  1. Cathryn

    This made me smile so much. I will never forget our night-time taxi ride from the airport into Tokyo. We came to Odaiba and the Rainbow bridge, and Tokyo was there in all its night-time, lit-up glory and I honestly fell in love at first sight with the place! No other city compares to Tokyo! But there’s plenty to enjoy in Singapore!

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