Day 01 begins. I’m super excited to present this content to you for your edification. May my memories and the gems echoing from my time in Japan serve you well. Support these 30 days of curated content by indulging yourself with a copy of Domo ArigaDIE!!!. Or help by spreading the word.
It’s 2004 and you’ve landed in Japan. Your first trip to Tokyo is in the front seat of a comfy jumbo bus that sails southward through the early morning to the warmth of city lights. The man behind you is slurping a boxed lunch and all you care about is how you’re going to manage your way around such a huge metropolis by yourself with sub-par language skills, no sense of direction, and no idea how to find out what time the last bus will arrive to take you back to your idyllic small town in the north. But you’ve got something real to go on and your ears are humming like it’s 1981.
You’ve got the energy of a British pop idol turned avant-garde improviser. That’s right. You’ve got the band whose name says it all, whose flashy-glitzy androgynous style started the entire visual-kei fashion revolution. You’ve got David Sylvian’s precious musical baby–his band, JAPAN. And this song, this mantra, “Life in Tokyo,” it helps. It’s a sleazy new wave balm you can spread across your skin as you stroll these labyrinthine streets for a day. Welcome to high society? You bet, pal. Soon, you find yourself deep in the trenches of Ueno, riding the Yamanote-sen to Shibuya and just being there among the pulse of a city that is truly (and always will be) magnificent.
So, live it up. I know there’s a lot of great music out there, and this one might not make it to the top of your highly stylized list from the get-go, but give it a spin. It only took me 100 listens to get my thighs shaking. These guys were Gods in Japan. Fans all over the country fainted at the sight of their skinny suits, their mascara, their tight pants. And that sexy hair. THEY ALL HAVE AMAZING HAIR. As you walk those Tokyo streets, you realize you don’t have hair as amazing as Japan. It doesn’t matter, though, for their melodies beat a synth line around the clogged arteries of your soul. And it makes everything better.
You’ve made it to the mecca of synthesized life and you’ll never be quite the same. The bus picks you up at Tokyo station around nine o’clock. Over twisting highways that squeeze around skyscrapers and lights as far as your tired eyes can see. You rest. You commute. And you wait for the day that you’ll be able to dig deeper into the trenches of Tokyo, your sweet, sweet furusato.