Tokyo. Wake up. 8:30 AM.
Got in the night before, delayed flight. Got Yen. Crashed at 3AM.
Shower. Breakfast. Out the door.
Visit old friends: Places I’ve been missing since 1999, when I left here. Two of my favorite restaurants in the world. Akihabara Denkimachi (Lightning-Town). Find an otaku shop: See if I can connect with Tokyo board-game culture. Visit the Kinokunia bookstore: See if the toilets there are still lit up with more glowing controls than a science fiction set.
First stop: Akihabara. Not finding the electronics parts stores of old, where folks would stand over racks and racks of specialized components. Did I miss the right turn off the main street, or has that moved to Huachangbei in Shenzhen?
Well, here’s an arcade, let’s get a game in at a sit-down machine.
Nerd stores: Well, this is awesome. Look at all these mecha kits. Look at all these random parts in baggies, so you can kit-bash your mecha.
Mission: Find boardgames in Tokyo: Failed.
Lunch: Find my favorite old soba stand. That was 14 years ago. The guy who ran it was old. Can it still be there? It was at the corner of a tiny alley out of an exit from a train station that defies the laws of geometry.
Yes, my feet still know the way.
It’s still there. Two young guys are running it tonight.
It’s just like I remember. The best soba in the world. 380 yen for a bowl, tempura and an egg on top.