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There isn’t enough time or film to get all that’s cool about this city. The top one is from a walk in Yanaka, near Ueno. It’s a funkier part of Tokyo, where the merchants lived. Lots of old buildings preserved and many many shrines. A Lonely Planet walking map took me through the back alleys.

Bottom photo is from Nakameguro, hipster central. I saw a tote bag from Green Apple and Aardvark in the window of a shop there!

I’ve been distracted by electronic relationships, the tweeting of twittering birds that signify nothing.

Japanese American Friendship Festival

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It was blazing hot all day, oppressive feeling of doom & weight. Nothing good could come of it. Driving towards the base at sundown, there are streams and streams of people walking away. The moisture in the air weighs down on us. Bouyed by the lunch beers, we soldier on and find a parking spot near by.

My purse is searched by a kid at the gate. “Can I look in your bag,” he asks in very polite Japanese. “Hey how are you doing today?” I answer in English, “Busy day today?” I determined that I will not speak Japanese on the base.

We get the beers in, and crack one immediately. The sun is going down and the bad feeling is heavier. A motorized train of kids drive by. The attending solders spray the walkers with water guns.

Call of Duty fan boys wear full face paint and camo. “Those are not our guys,” an American says to his Japanese lady companion. You can tell because they wear flip flops. There’s mist in the air, the water from the tarmac rising. The soldiers are selling deep fried Twinkies & Oreos. A few of them pose with their machine guns with the fair goers. Our mission is cotton candy. The heat and the masses and the military menace.

We make our way to the airplane hanger. People are back shoulder to shoulder. There’s no sunflower seeds. There’s no carnival games. Just booths where you can buy toy guns. We’ve run out of beer.

The sky opens up and the thunder starts. The last band is setting up in the emptying hanger when the guy in charge announces that the festival is over. We press on through the masses, umbrellaless back to the car.

tokyo is a hella of a town

 

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My first roll through the Yashica T4. I’m in love. It’s so easy to use and the colors are unbelievable. I’ll try out a roll of B&W, but the sharpness and color saturation.

This place is such a contradiction. There’s nothing new to be written, said about Japan that’s not already a cliché. All I’m going to do is roll with it.