Is there really more of a Tokyo back-alley sight than a bunch of sake bottles sitting on top of an air conditioning unit? Little scenes like this define Asia for me, and while it could be argued that the picture above could be anywhere in the world, for me it just feels Japanese – right down to the clear umbrella, filled with aging rainwater, slowly drowning in the background.
I got a new bike recently, and it reminded me of just how much exploring there is to be done away from train lines and public transport, lost in a seemingly endless array of roads and lanes that usually don’t see much traffic, or people, for that matter. In recent weeks I’ve found myself in areas I didn’t even know exist. I have eaten gyoza at an open restaurant by the side of the road that usually caters for bikers and truckers; passed a girl with a giant tiger on her back; and witnessed row upon row of empty shops eaten up by time, their shutters gracefully rusting with each changing season. Cycling on and on, around the next corner, and further still.
I continue to adore this mundane, beautiful side of Tokyo.