Scrapbook: Better at night
Utsunomiya, Japan

Work trips aren't meant to be fun

Even though I knew I was coming here for work, even though I knew I wouldn't get much time to see Japan, I was still excited for the chance. My company has flown me thousands of miles across the world to a place entirely unfamiliar to me. The language is unintelligible, the food is unrecognisable, the culture is unfathomable. Yet I love Japan. Unfortunately in Utsunomiya there really isn't much to see.

The centre is the train station, an hour by Shinkansen (bullet trains) from Tokyo main station. This is surrounded by hotels, restaurants and shops. However there is a reason why they are crowded around the train station. Utsunomiya is a city, but isn't a vibrant one. Sure at night you have restaurants and bars thriving with locals enjoying the delicacies on offer. However you don't get the spirit or excitement you might do in central Paris, London, New York. This is a city for working people and don't you know it. The hotels are close to the train station so that people can get away quickly enough after the business is done. This is a grey city that only neon lights can beautify.

Utsunomiya is better at night - but still isn't worth visiting.