Tokyo, Rocky IV-style • The joys of the FamilyMart • Intoxicated Salarymen • Beers (And Nuts) On Top Of The World • Surprised By A Shinto Shrine • Mooching Teenagers • Japanese Cuisine, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Chicken Hearts • Yakitori – So Good, You Guys
As soon as my plane touched down at Narita Airport, I felt a rush of excitement at being back in Japan.
I’d visited the country a few years before, and had made a lot of noise to anyone unfortunate enough to be in hearing distance about moving to the place some day. I loved it that much.
Now I was back – and while my last trip had been a flying visit to Osaka and Nagasaki (by financial necessity, all my trips to Japan are flying visits), now I was free and at large in Tokyo.
When I think back to my adventures in Tokyo, it’s like a montage from an 80s movie. Everything seems to pass by in jump-cuts – here a plate of yakitori, there a neon-soaked alleyway, here the calm of a Shinto shrine, there the mingling smells of cigarette smoke and a steaming bowl of ramen. The eerily silent crowds, the spotlessly clean streets, the little electronic jingles that play on the subway. I loved it all.