The end of the beginning

It feels as if it has been a long time coming, following the many steps that have brought me from there to here.  Finally, barring a few administrative hurdles still to be negotiated, I will be a Tokyo resident.

The lure of the big, bad city on my doorstep has been a siren call since my plane landed.  Like London Heathrow, they call it Tokyo Narita even though it is a couple of hours outside the city centre.  Fitting in weekend trips to the clubs, parks and shops around work, planning sightseeing adventures and taking time for people-watching from the cafes.  All enjoyable escapades ruined too soon by the intrusion of the long train ride back to the ‘burbs.

After 11 March, we all had our own decisions to make.  You might have thought that 24 hours stranded in Tokyo would have soured me on it somewhat.  Instead, even as I was traipsing through the freezing, crowded streets, I was reasoning that if I lived in a more central location I would have been safely home.  That night I resolved, before falling into a hazy, aftershock-interrupted sleep, to make sure I did something about it.

Before I could, there was a sea of goodbyes to navigate.  I believe I understand the thoughts of those who have chosen to bring their Japanese adventures to an end, even as I know there is nowhere else I would rather be at present.  I am lucky to have met some incredible people before they departed and fortunate enough to have been shown their favourite corners of the city so that I can now adopt them as my own.

I have other plans for this new start.  Including the locating of the perfect writing cafe, maybe to get a bike or to walk around more, not because the trains are stopped this time, but for the fun of it.  There are bars to find, friends to meet and streets to explore.  I can’t wait to see what Tokyo has to show me once I am a resident and no longer a visitor.

So this isn’t an end, or the beginning of the end.  It is perhaps the end of the beginning.

Sayonara Kashiwa.  Konnichiwa Tokyo.

And remember…


Filed under Japan

8 responses to “The end of the beginning

  1. I have a bike outside my apartment that you can have but you will have to knock off the lock. Dont know about cafes but there’s an AMAZING bar I was introduced to in Takadanobaba right before I left..

    • You should have said, I would have had it! Not sure I want to get into thievery given my background… how would I know which one to steal?
      If you remember how to find that bar, send word! I need a new local, where everybody knows my name.

  2. Love the idea of a perfect writing cafe. I see mine as falling somewhere between the diner in Seinfeld and the establishment in Van Gough’s Cafe Terrace at Night. This is the place for them, o’ course…

    (By the way, I hope that’s not supposed to be the fat lady in the advert. Otherwise I fear for Japanese women.)

    • I’ve been pursuing the idea of the ‘perfect writing cafe’ ever since I saw a picture of Simone de Beauvoir on the wall of Cafe Flore in Paris over the seat she used to write in. Haven’t found it yet, but if you’re near East London you should check out Pellicci’s from the link you posted – it is incredible, if perhaps a little busy to sit in nursing a tea and scribbling all day.

      Will let you know how my search progresses…

  3. that photo made me smile very much ^_^

    And the idea of a perfect writing cafe is something i’ve been searching for as well, i hope your search goes well…..

  4. Pingback: Scorcery | ten minutes hate

  5. Pingback: Where everybody knows your name | ten minutes hate

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