We chat with Shane Reustle, a nomadic backpacker in Tokyo. He’s the first interviewee of our Impressions on Tokyo series where we explore the experiences and attraction of temporary visitors to the world’s biggest and most effervescent metropolis.
A few sentences about yourself please.
I’m a backpacker who has been traveling around Asia since 2014. I’ve spent a good portion of the past year building a software consultancy, which I’m running remotely. My goal is to spend the next few years making my way around the world without flying.
First time or have you been to Tokyo before?
I was first in Tokyo a few months ago. Japan was definitely on my list of countries to visit, but I never really gave it much thought. Once I ended up here while traveling with my little sister a few months ago, I fell in love with it and knew I had to come back.
How long is your trip?
Where do you live normally?
Tell us about an interesting moment or experience on this trip.
Did anything about Tokyo particularly surprise you?
I expected it to be this clean, this organized, this polite, and this friendly, but I did not expect it to be this cheap. Everyone talks about how expensive Tokyo and Japan in general is, but you can totally be a cheapo here if you have some self control.
What did you find most challenging during your trip?
I had to do the 1.5+ hour post-midnight walk of exhaustion from Shibuya back to my place in Nakano Sakaue more times than I had hoped. The insanely expensive taxis on top of the trains stopping at midnight made for a difficult time getting anywhere after midnight. I had a bicycle, but that took a bit of planning ahead if I wanted it to be there and ready for the trek home.
What three adjectives/words would you use to summarize your experience of Tokyo?
Delicious, clean, and kawaii.
Where can we learn more about you, your work and your travels?
You can follow my adventures on Facebook and Instagram.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market