I loved you deeply. Immediately. Forget your bright lights, I can get those anywhere. What really made me fall was your movement. The hands that cradled steaming bowls of ramen or meticulously washed your already clean streets twice over. A father and son, slicing through a buttery piece of tuna as though there might be gold in the middle. The lightness of feet against your pavement, the stories those streets told. I woke up every day and looked at your skyline, my heart in my throat just thinking of what buzzed below.
Tokyo, you are strange. Alleyways with furry human creatures, robots caught in battle with sharks, neon clubs with magicians and greased up, leather-clad women. Teenagers dressed in neon flowered skirts and panda purses. Photo booths that produce unreasonably glazed photos and doe eyes. Purple hair in Harajuku. Cyberpunk dystopia. Getting drunk in an Alice and Wonderland themed labyrinth.
Tokyo, you are delicious. The journeys you took me on with your food were revelations. Not just because it tasted good, but because you made it look good, too. Beautiful presentations on handcrafted plates. The sensation of warm sake against my tongue. That addictive egg salad sandwich from Lawsons. The soothing repetition of rubbing chopsticks together, waiting for you to feed me more magic.
Tokyo, you are LIT. I took a wine at a reggae club and ate fried chicken in the train station. With you, it’s always important to look up on the journey. Tiny staircases led to big secrets. Hip hop beats that made me believe again. Chopped up and screwed.
Everything the west needs to know, they can learn from you. How to uphold tradition. To take pride in yourself and work. To eat and drink without thinking about anything but that moment. Why even the smallest acts must be carried out with dignity.
The urgency to explore you again keeps me awake at night. I barely touched the surface and was still unhinged. And when I return, we will move together even longer. For hours on end. I can’t wait for you to keep me up all night.