Ohaiyou gozaimasu (July 2002)index | next

The flight from San Francisco to Narita International Airport was a swift ten hours, during which the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday slipped into oblivion through a crack in space time otherwise known as the International Date Line. I arrived bleary eyed, but excited and almost enjoyed the subsequent two hour train ride into the city.

Vic had kindly arranged for my accommodations, an apartment in Roppongi. The Japanese immediately demonstrated their vastly superior efficiency and attention to detail by having my name on a plaque outside my apartment before I'd even arrived. This being a far sight better than the two months it took the HOA to get my name on the directory of the apartment in San Francisco I actually own free and clear.

A lovely crane had been folded and left in greeting on my new kitchen table.

The view from dining room looked out on the incredible density that is Tokyo.

We took advantage of my jet lag to check out the Tsukiji fish market, wherein most of the day's serious business is concluded by 7am. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the warehouse floors covered by thousands of headless tuna. Alas, our attempts to wander sufficiently deeply into the heart of the market were stymied by an inability to breath air that had grown opaque from the exhaust of thousands of gas powered carts zipping to and fro. Carts that threatened to flatten us should we let our attention falter for even a moment.

Vic was quick to point out one of the myriad economic peculiarities in Japan. The latest N'Sync CD will put you out forty bucks, but you can have the finest maguro sushi ever to cross your palate for a mere ninety cents.

I had my first close encounter with a cicada. Loud buggers, they are.

One of our walking trips took us past a kabuki theater, tucked inconspicuously into the clutter.

A many gated temple entrance near the Tokyo National Museum.

We took a stroll near Shinobizu pond in Ueno, where we discovered lilies in bloom.

Many lilies.

In fact, lilies as far as the eye could see.

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©2002 michael bayne  <mdb@samskivert.com>