Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tokyo Elegy

20 Days…

Thoughts a little low, not so bright today, and maybe a good match for the cloudiness of Kugayama’s sky. It’s one of those times in the days leading up to ‘Sayônara, Japan’ when I dwell on the things I will miss about my 10,000 days in this country. On the other side of the fence are the things I will not miss and likely be happy to leave behind, but that isn’t on my mind this day.

In the past ten or twelve years Tokyo has finally become the cosmopolitan capital it always aimed to be, and is now fast moving beyond the urban ugliness that was once unmistakable. I will miss watching, witnessing the growth of a city I love. In moving to a small town in Florida, I will miss the fire and energy of Tokyo, city of 13,000,000.

I will miss walking the streets of this endless city. In the first years of my stay here, I walked everywhere, willingly losing myself among unnamed streets hardly wide enough for the smallest car. This was my way of discovering the flavor of different areas and neighborhoods and of stumbling upon the unexpected. I learned too, that trains and subways would lead me to more surprises and eventually teach me something about the city from a another perspective. No, there is no doubt I will miss the trains and subways which many call the finest system of urban transportation in the world; certainly it boasts the most efficient and dependable timetables anywhere. Twenty days will find me dependent upon a car to get about.

My very slight worries over living on the shaky edge of a big earthquake will be replaced by greater and more tactile fears of a hurricane roaring out of the Atlantic and smashing down my home one more time.

Sure, I will miss chatting with Aoki-san next door, will wonder how Mr Hata’s garden below is shaping up for its summer glory. And I will wonder too, how half a dozen friends are faring in the city I left behind.

1 comment:

  1. Bill I am really enjoying these blogs on your countdown. It is interesting to me, knowing you personally, to hear the things you will miss and the things you won't. Keep up the good work. I will give you a call and we can catch up over the phone when you are back in the States. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America