A picture a day keeps the context away: Japan diary part 3

Since I wrote about DYRTFT2, I have posted the odd vignette but I haven’t maintained a day-to-day diary like part of my brain and versions of my past self reckon I should. So here’s a brief, hopefully memory-evoking* skip through the past few weeks of living in Tokyo. I will try to limit myself toContinue reading “A picture a day keeps the context away: Japan diary part 3”

“The restaurant was not revolving.” Walking up Mount Tsukuba 

Japan is a land of splendid trains, but not quite as many as there once were. The car is king here, just as it is most places. The relative decline of the train outside the major trunk lines and urban centres means it’s hard to get to good hiking spots without a car, or beingContinue reading ““The restaurant was not revolving.” Walking up Mount Tsukuba “

A wander from Meidaimae to Ebisu, Tokyo

I am stood in my Ballardian high-rise in Meidaimae, a suburb in the west of Tokyo, staring out east towards the skyscrapers of Shinjuku. Richard Hawley’s Tonight The Streets Are Ours is in my head. I can see, vaguely, where I want to be going – Ebisu, a bit south of Shibuya. At least, i convinceContinue reading “A wander from Meidaimae to Ebisu, Tokyo”

Oh but you know that we’ve changed so much since then – Japan diary pt 2 

Day four: Koenji, or dance like there’s nobody watching  The exit polls were promising. Buoyed by a fun and busy first attempt at re-Britpopping the good people of Tokyo at March’s Do You Remember The First Time, we were confident the second iteration of the club night would go just as well. We spent theContinue reading “Oh but you know that we’ve changed so much since then – Japan diary pt 2 “

Bullet train, take away the pain: Japan diary pt 1

Day One: Marunouchi, Tokyo After spending an enjoyable few hours in the non-place of Ataturk international airport, I headed on to the second, longer leg of my trip: an eleven hour flight to Tokyo’s Narita airport. The trip was uneventful: I got some sleep, some Japanese art students tried to teach me some useful words ofContinue reading “Bullet train, take away the pain: Japan diary pt 1”

Tatami Galaxy and Kyoto

There are many Kyotos. Like most cities, it unfolds infinitely in the manner of the beholder’s choosing. Some see a concrete mess, and are disappointed that the once-beautiful place ‘benevolently’ untouched by atomic bombs was instead ravaged by post-war construction. Others find beauty in the many shrines and beautiful old streets that still provide quietContinue reading “Tatami Galaxy and Kyoto”

Cycling from London to Nottingham: a personal guide

Head up through the memories of Stoke Newington and past the Jewish community in Stamford Hill. Hang an accidental right at the top of Tottenham, and make your way through Edmonton and other anonymous suburbs. It’s only when you try to leave that you realise that London stretches on close to forever.  Keep cycling, butContinue reading “Cycling from London to Nottingham: a personal guide”

Bladerunner, Laputa and anonymity 

Feeling awkward about going to the cinema on your own is ludicrous. It’s the ideal solo activity, particularly if you have esoteric movie tastes / no friends. But it’s still taken me years – decades – to feel comfortable with it. I remember going to see some (quite dull) Chinese romantic epic when at university.Continue reading “Bladerunner, Laputa and anonymity “