Tokyo.The hands of the clock run madly and you can get lost crossing roads with the crowd marching in lockstep. Seven hours ahead of Luxembourg and the hands of the clock do not stop running in Tokyo.
You learn quickly that nothing is ever enough in Tokyo. Tokyo of a thousand lights and souls is playful and bizarre, easily making you feel that you’re part of a videogame, in the streets of Akihabara with its colourful lights, futuristic and traditional characters of manga and anime and real characters, who are probably the most extravagant ones.
Here, fashion does not seem to be a mere accessory, but an everyday fresh must: Everyone dressed to the nines to personify new trends, mixing them creatively. Tokyo is already ahead, beating those running hands of the clock.
Then, as if by magic, a new district and a new mood. The coolest fashion appears to be the lifeblood and muse of Tokyo. From the most fashionable catwalks to the streets of Ginza there are just a few steps. In Ginza there is an endless number of shops, and the shop windows alone are a sight. The most incredible fashion designers are present – a paradise for designers and fashion lovers alike.
The desire to differentiate oneself from others has probably resulted in a special creativity which is in the air; from fashion to the irony of describing everything through a comic strip, and narrate in colours and cartoons, but also in the most bizarre food combinations such as the marshmallow and chocolate pizza.
Dance and incense
And then, the spirit of Omotenashi, the irresistible art of Japanese hospitality, something to take with you as one of the true treasures of Japan.
New metro ride, new frame. The lockstep march changes into a delicate dance of the many devotees at the Sensō-ji, the Buddhist temple in the Asakusa area. All of them conveying their messages, their prayers and some of their pain, asking for a little relief in return.
The smell of incense leads to the astonishing and impressive entrance called Kaminarimon (which means Thunder Gate), its huge red lantern catching the eye and showing the way to the sanctuary. The sanctuary is devoted to the Buddhist goddess Kannon, the goddess of compassion and kindness. Maybe the compassionate spirit resounds somewhere here, in the purity of people.
Tokyo sometimes seems magic. It moves you from the pure excitement of the streets of Shinjuko to the comfortable silence of the cherry blossom trees in Gyoen Park in the blink of an eye. So easy to lose a piece of your heart among these colours.
And again in the blink of an eye, you are already on the return flight, bringing with you whole new colours and shades.
Text and photos by Silvia La Rosa, May 2015