Dear Tokyo, I know we’ve had our ups and downs…
… but you never stop surprising me.
I first came to Japan back in 2005 as volunteer at a care home in the Kansai region, and even though I fell in love this most foreign of counties, it wasn’t until a year later that I finally made it out to Tokyo for the first time. I find it quite funny to look back at that moment now; I was more than slightly reticent about leaving Kansai and all my much-loved places (Osaka, Nara, Kyoto and Kobe to name just a few of my favourites), but now I feel as though I have a little bit of Tokyo in my head and heart.
Unlike my relationship with Samuel, which was love at first sight, it took me a little longer to come around to Tokyo. I am a committed city girl, and the concrete jungle is my natural paradise, so I suppose it was almost inevitable that I would fall head over heel for Tokyo sooner or later. I think that as with many people, I found the sheer size of the place utterly overwhelming at first, but then I began to really appreciate that within such a vast city there were pockets that were just so unlike anywhere else.
Flash forwards to the latter half of 2011, and I find it hard to think about living anywhere other than Tokyo. It’s just where I exist, like I’m more 3D here than any other city, any other country. Maybe it’s just that the first flush of love hasn’t worn off yet, but I still find myself entranced by the simple things in this place:
Vintage clothing shop (and window reflection); I believe this is Wow Retro.
Grand Bazaar Garden – a favourite haunt for secondhand designer wares.
Maybe it’s because I grew up in the UK, but I still find it truly amazing that in Tokyo no one has kicked over these plants, or relieved themselves over them, or shoved cigarette butts into the soil. And this was just off a busy main road too! Wow.
Tea & pastries are the two things that fuel me. Tokyo, I can just about forgive you for using Darjeeling tea bags and fake milk. Just.
A slightly gloomy Tokyo skyline. Just thinking about all those people packed into those building makes me start daydreaming!
Hello, train! A reliable train service is still a novelty, ha ha.
No idea what this building is, but it’s pretty great. A Tokyo tip: always look up!
(This was pre-quake, by the way.) I like the idea of this tiny brightly coloured digger on top of a huge pile of… stuff.
Mosaic outside a bar.
Dear Tokyo, I still love you.