by Joseph Bonney
Toda Koen is a small suburb outside of Tokyo that I've stayed in for work. It's one of the quietest cities I've stayed in in my life. The foreigner population is crazy low. I was probably the one of two black people in that city alone, but it wasn't a problem. Many stares of course, and I also had Japanese citizens cross the street when they saw me. Something that absolutely blew my co-worker’s mind when it happened to us (my third time since being in the town lol).
There is one supermarket with 5 minutes of walking distance that sold just about everything. Then the amazing Bento shop that gives you a whole tray of food for ¥500 (roughly $5).
The local mall is pretty neat too (did you know Konami owns a gym?), 2 floors of Japanese and Western merchandise. This was also the first time I saw a KFC in the country. It was healthier and came with an apple pie (U.S. #StepYoGameUp)!
I saw my first daiso or, as we call it in America, a dollar store. Easily the most fascinating thing in the mall. And speaking of America, there's a Western store that sells some American-style goods like Hershey's, and beans.
Overall the town is a quiet, little Japan secret. They have all these cool things, but like Japanese culture Toda is humble about it all. A pleasant little place, but not somewhere to be for a crazy night (I mean you can make it happen, but yeah… good luck lol)
Stay tuned for more updates from me in the near future!
Joseph Bonney is a contributing writer for Human Influence. Originally from Central Texas, he moved to Japan where he teaches English.