madness in the metropolis 

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Did I miss anything?

I let my kidnapping victim go in the end; put her on a plane back to New York on Sunday. Well, we were having to change our location every couple of days, we were cringing every time a police car drove past, the Feds were bound to get involved sooner or later, I didn't have enough newspapers to do one of those cut-and-paste ransom notes... and she only had until Monday off work. So it had to end eventually.

The past week or so was an attempt to decant all of Japan into a single ten-day period, and I think we pretty much got it right. We had the nighttime views over Tokyo's vast urban sprawl, the Bladerunner-esque narrow neon-throbbing backstreets of Kabukicho, the future-according-to-Sony building, the gnomicly translated shrine fortunes, the mockthentic British pubs, the Harajuku Hang, the Sanrio-soaked toy shops, the Yoyogi Park exhibitionists, the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, the cooler-than-thou-and-thou-and-thou hipster bars, the revolving sushi, the eight-storey Tower Records, the 39th floor cocktail lounge, the bullet trains, the ryokan-and-yukata experience, the hillside temples at dusk, the postmodern architecture, the torrential rain, the zen rock gardens, the 16th century castle, the discreet geisha tea houses, the yakiniku, the wild deer in the streets, the hordes of yellow-capped schoolchildren who want to practise their English on you, the tour groups of identically clad pensioners crowding around their flag-bearing rapid-fire guides, the bamboo groves, the ultraprecisely landscaped gardens, the stepping stones to make sure you slow down and appreciate the view at the exactly preordained spot, the New York-style fusion restaurant minus all traces of New York attitude, the quirky dark-as-the-bottom-of-a-well-at-midnight rock bars that sit a total of nine people if you all breathe in at the same time, the world's fastest elevator, the fearsome massage chairs, the modern art, the roller coasters, the ferris wheels, the Chinatown, the eighty-boutiques-in-one-building buildings, the Tokyo Bay island built out of reclaimed land, the packs of scenery photographers all taking the same shot, the artificial beach, the burnt orange smogsets, the ferrets, the surreal arcade games, the taiko drumming, the print club sticker machines, the seven-storey second-hand record store, the japlish t-shirts, the bustle and pulse of life in one of the most intense cities on Earth.

I'm sure there's a few things we missed out - but we had to leave something for next time, didn't we?

Posted by chris at October 16, 2001 12:00 AM | Permalink

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