giovedì 21 aprile 2016
Tokyo. Sakura, Friends , Crazy people & Cyberpunk.
First thing? First thing is WOW!
Writing now from the Shinkansen to Kanazawa, six days spent in the incredbile capital. A cyberpunk parenthesis in my life. What a journey!
First funny thing was the 15-minute delay of my bullet train (it actually stopped in the middle of the route for a safety check). To the face of punctuality… I am on time, and it arrives late, it’s something really really unusual here, it happens a couple of times per year, no more. And it’s my very first, I guess they cannot cope with an Italian, or just with me, because I must be late. Every time.
I noticed something hilarious for me: In Japan there are actually public telephones that works by inserting coins. I did not see one since the early ‘90s…. In the land of technology, and they have coin-operated telephones. I mean, here they have washlets, the electronic WC and the phone operates on coins? How bizarre…
So, I take my first room in a business hotel, one of those very tiny ones where you have your small room all with tatami on the floor and one futon. Period. I loved it. The futon was so comfortable!
On the first evening I walked around Uneo, area that I really liked, full of small restaurants and a little market with a huge video fame room. I mean really huge, like they have never invented home entertainment. From where I come from these kind of things mainly went bankrupt when they started with the Playstations etc. Here it’s huge, as I say, and it’s so loud that I guess it would be a physical experience as well to spent just an hour inside. After I walked trough Akihabara, the nerd area, which was all about manga, anime and video games. Here, as well, video game rooms as there would be no tomorrow, I found it so funny, Tokyo is really a crazy place.
Another thing that I love, and I guess everyone loves it, is that it’s kinda not that expensive of a city . Tokyo is less expensive than Roma, Milan, very much less expensive than New York, London & Paris. It's misconception of a lot of people that it would be a very expensive one, I guess it comes from something like more than ten years ago when their economy was booming and it was the most expensive city in the world before. Things have changed, just me, and a lot of people never realized that. Beside the cabs, luxury service here, I did not found anything really expensive for an European point of view of course.
I’ve loved the garbage trucks, super clean and well perfumed, they are all really shiny. I thought about the Italian one, where you could smell the stink from half a kilometer...Oh God! It makes me want to cry, just I did not get if it’s because it’s funny or it’s sad.
The day after I walked again, a lot, 25 kilometers, to visit the amazing Senso-Ji Temple in Asakusa and of course the whole area around. In the late afternoon I met two freinds of mine form Italy: Alessandro, I haven't seen him since two o three years, and my very old dear high school friend Takis, one of my very best friends at that time, I have not see him for the last tewnty years, so I was pretty excited to meet him again. Takis is one of the main reason why I’ve pushed through this Japan travel. It has been very cool, we have been telling each other the last twenty years, more or less, and in somehow time looks like it never passed, few days after I will meet his wife as well, a very nice sweet girl. We grew up, but we are still the same old kids. Well, it means to me we grew up in the right way, making good choices. He bring us to a very crazy bar, where the waitresses are dressed and they act like just coming out from a manga, it's a famous bar here in Tokyo, out of here it would go to bankrupt in few days, very hard to explain by words, think about this: They made us do a sort of little song before we drink our beers, ending with making a heart with hands, it is so the beer will be tastier, they say. It looks pretty silly I know, but also this is Japan, short silly dances, lights, the girl that says hi as a cat. Kinda weird, but funny like hell. One time in life of course, but here it’s very trendy, don’t ask me why!
The week goes on with tons of kilometers under my feet. In the moment I write the kilometers among Osaka and Tokyo are 126. I feel like a light warrior on the Santiago Route and that’s fine. I’m a good walker and as photographer it’s the best way to take in a city. Get lost, walk, shoot. Just I’m not really comfrotable anymore with wearing shoes so my feet are all sore. I visit temples, shrines, parks, I can finally check out the amazing Sakura (again, the cherry blossom), this amazing cherry trees that do not make cherries (what you were excepting? Cherry trees making cherries? Of course not…). One night spent in Roppongi the glamour area, to have a nice party with another French friend, met in Manila last September. I see a lot about Tokyo, really a lot. The fish market was impressive, crowded, very typical, then an area, I don’t remember the name, pretty trendy were they sell costumes and masks. Here I’ve bought the rabbit one from Donnie Brasco movie. I dream about DJing with this, it’s gonna be awesome, Lucy’s Son. Ok this is not for everyone, but someone will get it.
Emotion flows like a river on me while discovering Tokyo, I realized that to me Japanese girls are among the most beautiful women in the world and they are a lot!, they made me think of my beautiful lady, a Filipina who really looks like a Japanese, in somehow I like her more now, it’s funny, isn’t it?
The style of the people, then, it hit me, they are cool, dressed like I never seen anyone, really the best, everyone looks like they just stepped out of a movie. This town is stunning and unbelievable to me.
I felt like a character form Blade Runner movie when Takis on last evening bring me to an amazing restaurant with view of the bay of Tokyo. The urban landscape is one of the closest thing to cyberpunk I have ever pictured in my mind.
Before that I made a journey on the skytrain where I can enjoy this futuristic city by night on a non piloted monorail, among skyscrapers (the most beautiful I’ve seen is in Shinjuku, and it’s just a fashion school! I wanted to cry there, metaphorically, I supposed, of course, that it was just another bunch of office, or a multinational or just anther fucking bank! No, it’s a school for the fashion industry. Holy Mother Earth!). Then he brings me into one of these cool skyscrapers, we take a super fast glass elevator, 46 floors in less than one minute where you can see the whole bay and the amazing urban landscape for very high, it’s breathtaking, then I finally think, "do the robots make dreams of electric sheeps?”, also this is not for everyone. It was MY moment.
Goodbye Tokyo, goodbye again my dear friend, thank you for everything and, this time, see you soon, here again, because I’m going to be back in my paradise in the Philippines.