“Along the way I stopped into a coffee shop. All around me normal, everyday city types were going about their normal, everyday affairs. Lovers were whispering to each other, businessmen were poring over spread sheets, college kids were planning their next ski trip and discussing the new Police album. We could have been in any city in Japan. Transplant this coffee shop scene to Yokohama or Fukuoka and nothing would seem out of place. In spite of which — or, rather, all the more because — here I was, sitting in this coffee shop, drinking my coffee, feeling a desperate loneliness. I alone was the outsider. I had no place here.
Of course, by the same token, I couldn’t really say I belonged to Tokyo and its coffee shops. But I had never felt this loneliness there. I could drink my coffee, read my book, pass the time of day without any special thought, all because I was part of the regular scenery. Here I had no ties to anyone. Fact is, I’d come to reclaim myself.”
― Haruki Murakami,
I don’t remember when or why my love for Japan begun. Was it the snow-white-like geisha, the tea ceremonies, the real Japanese food, origami and origata, the language, the traditions, I don’t know. I’m not sure if I first started reading Murakami and then fell in love with Japan, or I felt attracted to Japan first, and then started reading Murakami.
It doesn’t really matter at this point. What makes me excited and thrilled right now is planning our trip to Japan and Tokyo next year. So when I saw these photos and read through the Tokyo experience by Damjan Cvetkov-Dimitrov and Nina Geometrieva, my Tokyo-Japan wanderlust got even bigger, and I had to include some of these places on our to-see / to-do / to-experience list. You need to read their blog post with a vivid description of their experience from each of these images – read it here.
Have you been to Tokyo or Japan yet? Which places would you recommend us to visit? Our plan is still in the making, and we’re open to suggestions. Thank you!
All images by Damjan Cvetkov-Dimitrov.