Breakfast at Fuglen, Lunch at Shin, Dinner at Nodaiwa.
For the last two days, I’ve been to maybe six cafes.
All of them look like a parody of a movie set, except that it isn’t.
People around here really live like a Monocle magazine.
Everyone thinks they’re a good photographer in Tokyo.
What we don’t realise is that the language of the city makes it so.
The chaotic interactions, the contrast between old and new, the typography, the beautiful people, the architecture and spacial design create endless opportunities.
Real photographers know it actually takes a certain special talent to screw up a photo in Tokyo.
An old man yelled at me in Comme Des Garçons, forbidding me to photograph a bunch of broken mannequins on the floor.
He was wearing a skirt.
So I walked out and took the photo from the other side of the display window.
I never had any good retail experience with high-end fashion Tokyo.
Last time in Beams a guy warned me NOT to dirty the clothes when trying them on.
Once a Leica shop guy hinted that their product might be out of my budget.
The thing about fashion is that everything operates around skin-deep appearances.
And it goes against everything I was taught my whole life.
I have developed a relationship with Kamiyama street.
It’s a straight walk all the way from Shibuya station to Yoyogi Park station.
It’s a nice little street, but bear in mind having a quiet alley in Shibuya is no small feat.
Like having a nice little street in the middle of New York.
I might be biased since where I stay is extremely close by, but that’s how a relationship is formed.
I took Aiko to Shin sushi for lunch to thank her for her hospitality.
We had the standard 12-piece nigiri course and everything was on point.
I liked how the chef basically self-learned and didn’t have to go through 25 years of rice washing.
Maybe that’s why the place was English friendly and approachable.
I didn’t have to make a booking six month in advance or ask a hotel concierge or pay $600 or feel like I need to obey some rules from the sushi god.
Food is food.
When you’re excluding customer to dine at your place, you’re no longer a restaurant; just an elitist country club.
Aiko made a booking for me at Nodaiwa because I wanted to have unagi.
Because of that, I got to explore Shimonokitazawa.
I video-called Chika and Hana as I wandered the streets as I really wanted to share the walk with them.
Like an RPG town, it was like a miniature of Shibuya without the tourists and annoying flyer-handlers.
I managed to stumble across Negi Ramen and took no hesitation to buy a ticket.
The style appealed to me because they use anchovies similar to ikan bilis in Malaysia.
This Tokyo trip has been thoroughly low gear.
In the past, as I visited Tokyo, I usually experience a wave of excitement then jealousy which then turns into anger and despair.
Hoping to be more fashionable, more good-looking, more affluent, more creative.
This time I’m kinda proud I walked through most of Tokyo in my sandals and shorts.
You can keep your cool; I’m happy with my daggyness.
A highlight of this trip was having a bento meal with a university friend and her son in a park near Kichijoji.
It was short but sweet and sufficient.
The older I get, the more I cherish small interactions that are hard to come by.
And when I leave later today, I’ll be leaving to see my wife and daughter.
There’s no downside at all.