The Golden Hour

Picnics and strolls by the water meet fishing boats, as steaming, fire-topped chemical complexes become visible in the distance on the south side of the water, and as the river curves, widens, and opens up into the bay, Haneda Airport dazzles into view, radiating brilliantly while passenger craft descend at speed from across the light-specked sea.

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Pacific Lines

How do you write about surfing without invoking every cliché in the book? I don’t think you can, and I know for a fact you can’t do it justice through words on a page, either. But some lines come close.

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Mukojima: Not Quite Anywhere

It’s desolate, just a little. Run down with empty plots, but also some modern houses with shiny, new cars parked outside. Slightly industrial, a hint of commerce, some parts residential, but also nothing in particular. Too quiet. Left behind but right in the middle.

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It doesn’t sleep, but it ebbs and cycles. It generates its own energy, perpetually.

Have faith in Shinjuku. No matter how long or how far you are gone, or what you do while you are absent, it will never judge you, and it will always take you back.

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You Would Say That, You’re a White Man

In Shinjuku’s eastern district—a do-as-you-like, all-night corner of Tokyo—I found myself in a tiny, crowded basement bar sipping lager from a can and listening to Depeche Mode. Assimilation indeed.
An American couple included me in their conversation, and soon began lamenting the election of Donald Trump. They became quite fraught as they went along, and after a while seemed bothered that my responses weren’t chiming with their feelings.

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