two years, four months later....

Are you awake?! Can't sleep?! Remember, for relaxing times, make it Suntory time at the New York Bar with stunning Tokyo views!

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samwright8380
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two years, four months later....

#1 Post by samwright8380 » Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:21 pm

.....and I'm finally set to go back to Tokyo tomorrow, albeit for two days and a half. I'm also going for a week at the end of april. I'm setting off in about seven hours or so for the airport.

I'm staying up as long as I can so I can sleep on the plane and cut jetlag. Not much else to do except iron my clothes and put a few things into my rucksack. I'll choose my things carefully, not because I'm afraid I'll look daft in my photos in years to come, but because the things you take with you on a journey you enjoy tend to take on some special character, like a childhood toy that brings back memories when you shine a torch on it in your loft. This isn't an ordinary journey, so ordinary things don't get to go.

Preparing for travel has almost become ritualistic in nature. It's the thing that I work for, save for, and daydream about on my daily commute. I know that I'm about to escape reality again for a short while, and the air for me right now is heady with potential.

My last trip to Tokyo has become a sweet distant dream with time. It was the first time I had travelled alone, in a place so alien I couldn't understand the alphabet. I only ate when I became hungry enough to ignore the embarrassment of pointing to food I didn't know and confused words that they nor I could understand. But my alienation was part of the appeal.

Cool and clean minimal design astride weathered history. Cool breeze gently flowing through golden leaves, Kaleidoscope of neon signs and the warm glow of temple lanterns. But I've travelled further since then.

I remember when I got my very first bmx bike for christmas. It gleamed impressively in blue and white, and was just slightly big enough to feel imposing when rode. I loved that bike and rode it nearly every day, untill I eventually outgrew it, and it rusted away in the shed.
I left Tokyo like an excited schoolboy, my appetite fuelled for further travels, but nothing in my mind has quite matched that first trip. I only come back to it on occasion for now, so it is fresh as ever. Some day the temptation will overcome me to stay, and I will grow used to the place, not sure where to look for the same experience.

This time, as before, I'm going alone. I don't want Tokyo to become ordinary to me, and nor do I want to mix elements of my life in England with my experience in Japan, in the same way that a tropical bird wouldn't be as beautiful if it were cross bred with a sparrow.

Japan never truly accepts an outsider as one of its own. You will always be slightly different. Nor have I ever felt the desire to be the same as anyone else.

Tomorrow I'll wake up early, and put LIT in my dvd player. It's becoming a ritual to pause it about two thirds through. I'd like to think I'm carrying on the rest myself.
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Pitman
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#2 Post by Pitman » Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:05 pm

Wow! Have an amazing stay. If you take pics, will you post some here too? That would be awesome. Then some of us can live through you vicariously until we have the opportunity to also visit Japan.

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#3 Post by Bob_san » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:17 pm

That sounds great samwright8380, lucky you!!!! Write back about your trip and post some photos! ! !

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samwright8380
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#4 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:32 pm

Park Hyatt Hotel

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Last edited by samwright8380 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#5 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:40 pm

Yaksuni Dori, Shinjuku District.

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#6 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:45 pm

APC Underground clothing store, Harajuku. The original filming location of the stripclub scene.

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samwright8380
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#7 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:52 pm

Cherry Blossom, Asakusa Shrine.

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samwright8380
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#8 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:02 pm

Hachiko Intersection, Shibuya.

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Pitman
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#9 Post by Pitman » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:06 pm

Awesome pics!!! Wow wow wow. I'm so jealous.

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samwright8380
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#10 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:09 pm

Alleyway off Shinjuku Station.

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#11 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:13 pm

Votive tablets, Meiji Jingu Shrine.

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#12 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:22 pm

12ft statue from the anime film ''Laputa, castle in the sky''. Ghibli Museum, Mitaka.

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#13 Post by samwright8380 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:28 pm

Dawn, Jimbocho used book district.

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#14 Post by Pockets » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:32 pm

Truly amazing pictures. I love them all, but the "12ft statue from the anime film ''Laputa, castle in the sky''. Ghibli Museum, Mitaka" is my very favorite.

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#15 Post by Bob_san » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:53 pm

Thanks these are great!

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#16 Post by jml98 » Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:30 am

I am SO ****ing excited to go see that myself.
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samwright8380
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#17 Post by samwright8380 » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:29 pm

I found APC underground quite by accident. I was walking through Harajuku and decided to walk a little further than usual, across a main road from the street famously crammed with fashion obsessed teens.

On seeing the sign, I felt compelled to look inside, so took the small set of steps from street level to the entrance to the store. The store is not enclosed underground, but is glass fronted and surrounded by a moat of gravel. You immediately notice the curved shape of the left hand wall, and then the size of the place- if film stars are much smaller in real life, then the same must also be true about the places they film in. I would estimate the store to be no larger than an average living room. All of the clothes were tiny too, being small or extra small. Needless to say the prices weren't.

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burgundy
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#18 Post by burgundy » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:45 pm

Awesome pics. Thanks.
With intensity.

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Bren
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#19 Post by Bren » Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:55 pm

Great pics! Thanks for posting 'em! :D
"Everyone wants to be found."

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TokyoGirl
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#20 Post by TokyoGirl » Thu May 10, 2007 12:19 pm

Wow, your pictures are so amazing, I can't wait to go there for myself... :)
She's got the moves to rule the world...

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