Saturday, January 29, 2011

Big City Flavors

Friday was a town day, beach and surf fading in my rearview mirror not long after ten o’clock, car’s nose pointed west toward the Toyota dealer fifty miles distant. Time for another of those maintenance checks. Sometimes I wonder if there’s anyone more helpful, courteous and efficient than the people at Toyota.

So, I was late getting home and after looking through the empty refrigerator for dinner material and then flopping in a chair with Bacardi and Coke to watch the fading light and darkening ocean, it eventually came to me that I hadn’t given any thought to writing some niblets for Scriblets. Pondering on that while the level in my glass slipped lower and lower, I remembered a recent book with page after page of dazzling photography. Tuttle Publishing put out in 2010 a new collaboration by Donald Richie and photographer Ben Simmons called Tokyo Megacity. It’s another of those large ‘coffee table’ type books that present all the good, beautiful, lyrical, modern, traditional and attractive things about Tokyo, megalopolis supreme. Below are a few favorite photos from that book.

Spring visitors stroll the hillside azalea gardens during a fine mid-April afternoon at Nezu Shrine.

His venerable old family speciality shop offers senbei crackers in Sendagi.

A young woman waits an arriving Fukutoshin Line subway in the Chichusen.

The modern fashion accessory, the cellphone, handy for coordinating a schedule and keeping in touch with friends.

A sarariman (office worker) passes through an old alleyway in Shimbashi.

Masterpiece tattoos revealed during the heat of the Sanja Festival.

The Yurikamome Elevated Railway glides past behind a fluttering Japanese flag.


  1. Nice. Thinking about having my body tattooed like that to hide the wrinkles. Photos stirred the old photo genes in my blood--though not enough to pick up a camera since yard work awaits this day with temps in the 70's. Time to pull plants out of the garage until the next cold spell and give them a shot of water and some sun.


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