23 February 2010 at 19:32

a.k.a. the Champs-Élysées of Japan.

Off in the distance

20 February 2010 at 19:31

On a clear day in Tokyo, you can see Mt. Fuji off in the distance.

Around the world in two weeks

27 November 2008 at 23:55

With stops in London, Köln, München, and Tokyo, my two week business trip went by in a blur.

The trip was good from business standpoint and I was lucky to be able to see good friends in all three countries, but boy am I thankful to be back home. Two weeks on the road is about my limit for a work-related trip.

Tokyo, it’s been too long

25 May 2008 at 17:43

There’s a statue outside of Shibuya station dedicated to Hachiko, the legendary Akita who faithfully waited for her owner every night, even long after he passed away.

I didn’t think much about it until my flight in April from SFO to NRT was in the air, but I spent almost ever other summer in Japan when I was growing up. After 8 years away (far too long in retrospect), would it still feel the same? Had the long economic malaise sapped the country of its vitality?

I was happy to see that while much of the urban landscape of Tokyo had changed—in particular, mega-projects like Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown, and Omotesando Hills were all new to me—the essential character of place hadn’t. The dynamic energy, frenetic pace, and fantastic food were still there, just enhanced by the continued organic evolution of the city.

And that’s what I like most about the place, the jarring discontinuity—no doubt a legacy of the urban planning done by warlords from centuries past. Unlike other cities, Tokyo juxtaposes new and old, with seemingly little concern for continuity. Perhaps it’s wabi-sabi writ large. Regardless, I’m looking forward to going back in June—and much more in the future. Like Hachiko, Japan waits patiently for me to return.