Travel Movie Experiences: Lost in Translation

Remember the opening scene of “Lost in Translation”: Scarlett Johannson on the bed of her Hotel room, wearing nothing but pink granny style jumpers and a light blue sweater, totally alone in Tokyo and not really knowing what to do with her life? This scene not only captures her inner insecurity, but also makes it pretty clear that one is simply alone in a city with more than 9.2 million inhabitants.

After having spent a couple of days in Tokyo on my own, I couldn’t help but wonder: What’s the probability of running into someone you know by chance in a city that big? Honestly, when thinking about the last scene in the movie where Bill Murray sees Scarlett walking down the street coincidentally really seems unrealistic. So, what to do when in Tokyo all by yourself and trying to feel a little bit “lost in translation” on your own?

  1. Not being able to fall asleep before 4 a.m.
    A horrible jet lag will come for free on a trip to Japan. It’s almost impossible to fall asleep and people usually fight a long time to overcome that rather unpleasant period of the journey. Hint: Bring your iPad and watch “Lost in Translation” for the 100th time or go to Tsukiji Fish market first hour in the morning to be part of the tuna auction.
  2. Karaoke? Of course!
    As I wanted to have the full Tokyo experience and I was lucky that my Japanese colleagues took me out for a Karaoke evening. I wasn’t wearing a fancy pink wig just as Scarlett did, but yes, I took the opportunity and sang Roxy Music’s “More than this” (because one can simply find every song…).
  3. Getting lost is not a waste of time
    When traveling to places that are closely connected to a movie and its epic original music score, one of the best things to do is to sit down in a park (Ueno for example), just take a deep breath and listen to “Air’s – Alone in Kyoto” (although you are in Tokyo…)
  4. Shibuyaaah
    Buy yourself a transparent umbrella at 7/11 and cross the Shibuya crossing when it´s raining – what a true Scarlett moment (and a very nice gift for your friends at home…)
  5. For a relaxing time…make it a Santory Time
    Simply enjoy your Santory Time everywhere you go (whether it´s beer or whiskey – Santory is simply everywhere!)
  6. Shabu-Shabu
    Not understanding anything that is mentioned on the menu and simply ordering what one of your fellow restaurant guests is eating will become quite normal after a while.
  7. Making “friends” on the Subway
    Going by metro has never been that entertaining before. You will end up wondering about people falling asleep on the subway, leaning their head against your shoulder and some weirdos eagerly looking for a girlfriend by checking some odd internet websites.


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