10.20.2002 (Sunday), 10:31 PM

The Land Of 10,000 Fashionable Women...

I'll be back...

(Day #9 of my October 12-20th trip to Tokyo with my friend Les ...)

OK, now I really look like a prizefighter. My right eye is a full-on black and blue but there's nothing at all that I can do. I contemplated trying to find a cold steak to hold over it because I have always wanted to do that but used hotel ice instead. It did dawn on me after a few minutes that it was well beyond the time of actually helping any swelling and/or bruises.

Les and I split up for the first time this trip to get some last minute stuff done. Les needed gifts for the loved ones back home and I needed a piece of software. I jetted out to Akihabara (20 minutes each way by train from Shinjuku) and glommed the software goodies. Les and I met back at the hotel to do some last minute food shopping. Fortunately, Les had already seen the basement floor of Takashimaya Depaato and had gone completely catatonic with food-lust-frenzy earlier in the week. (The basement floor of most department stores in Japan is filled with an eye-bursting array of foods.) This particular trip only required a drool rag and a handful of yen.

One thing that always strikes me about Japanese people is that they dress very fashionably. Nearly everyone dresses well (ok there are some fashion retards but who am I to judge my own kind...) and it's amazing that it's so universal to Japan. Whether you're walking in the busiest places (Shinjuku Station at 6 pm on a Friday night) or the quietest places (in residential neighbourhoods in Kamakura) or early or late, there is fashion all around. There just seems to be a tremendous amount of pride to dress this way. Needless to say, it makes people watching just that much more damn interesting.

I always get real sad when I have to get on the train or bus to the Narita airport because it means that I'm leaving Japan. As I said before, there is something very special about this country to me. There is no doubt in my mind that I'll be back here soon--there's something that will not allow me to stay away. It could be close friends, special places, incredibly cool shops, mind-blowing food or just the people who live and work here. It could be all of none of those--I just can't form the words to describe it. It's just there and I'm driven to be there again and again regardless.

Posted by wjc