As the sun sets on summer / 夏の太陽が暮れる

Hello, IKIMASHO! friends. I hope you are all well – here’s a bit of an update of what I have been up to lately. ❤

It’s been a bit of  a turbulent month here in Tokyo. The 19th typhoon of the year rolled through on 12 October – the biggest storm the country had seen in decades, claiming 80 lives and creating a bit of a panic beforehand. I myself had to watch the drama unfold from a hotel room in Hanoi where I was staying for a few days. That trip in itself was a bit of a weird one, mainly because I was travelling on my own, with Mrs IKIMASHO here in Tokyo due to the way our schedules worked out.

justin Egli IKIMASHO hagibis

Once I arrived in Vietnam, I soon learned that the airports were being shut down in Tokyo, and there was a real risk my return flight might be cancelled. I think being there on my own, worrying about my wife, and also constantly checking the status of the airports triggered some bad memories from when I was evacuated from an earthquake Nepal in 2015. In that respect, it wasn’t the most relaxing of breaks, and I was admittedly glad to be home in Tokyo – but on the plus side I got to eat some good food, laze by a sunny pool and catch up on some reading. I’ll do a separate post featuring some of my favourite photos from Hanoi soon.

Hanoi monk lake Vietnam

This was a nice moment, peacefully watching a monk at the lake in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Coffee vietnam street road Hanoi

Quiet moments spent with a book and Vietnamese coffee

Despite the drama resulting from Typhoon Hagibis, the past month-or-so has been pretty chill. In Tokyo, we have been exploring some quiet areas such as Kugahara in Ota-ku, as well as a few stations dotted around the Tamagawa line. I find southwest Tokyo pretty much neglected by visitors to the city – and even those who live here – and so it is always nice to walk around simple streets filled with local residents. I have lived on this side of Tokyo for over a year now, and feel happily settled.

Rainy day Setagaya

Rainy days, but no less beautiful

Sunset over Setagaya

Sunset from our apartment

Weekends and holidays are usually spent getting up early, going on quiet walks and finding somewhere new to eat lunch. We’ve been busy with friends: a birthday party, a few dinners with people visiting from abroad, and a few trips to the cinema. We have a possible trip to Disneyland next week, and two good friends of ours are getting married in November. All-in-all, there has been a nice balance between hanging out and taking it easy.

Summer bento

Summer vibes in early October

Birthday Tokyo Gyoza Japan

Birthday Boy (with a homemade hat made by Mrs IKIMASHO!)

Lots of gyoza Tokyo Japan

A gyoza filled adventure – and this was just the start…

From Fukuoka to Tokyo, 15 years later

Fast forward: Fukuoka 2003 to Tokyo 2019. I met up with a friend who I knew from my year in Fukuoka over 15 years ago. It was great to catch up and also meet her husband 🙂

Lunch tokyo

One of many lunches in Tokyo

Yakiniku Tokyo friends

Dinner with friends visiting from New York.

High quality meat Japan Tokyo

At our favourite yakiniku restaurant.

Not one for rugby, I surprised myself by getting really into the World Cup and have been enjoying watching the matches on TV. I was proud to see Japan do so well, and even though they went out, I think it’s great that the world has been able to see the team (and the country) in such a positive light. By all accounts, fans have commented positively on the hospitality of the Japanese people, and I am sure the Olympics will see more of the same.

Japan Rugby World Cup TV

It has been fun to watch the Rugby World Cup on TV

The Tamagawa River has now levelled itself after breaking its banks during the typhoon. Many houses along the river were flooded, with families needing to evacuate. This is always the way after a natural disaster – one day an area is fine, while the next it can be heavily damaged and forced to rebuild. Just one week earlier, we were down at the river to enjoy the Setagaya fireworks that happen once a year. Ordinarily I would be put off by the crowds that fireworks in Japan attract, but this particular event was close to our house meaning we could cycle down and find a quiet spot, not having to rely on public transport. The show lasted an hour, with huge fireworks filling the warm evening sky.

Setagaya fireworks 2019

Polka-dot explosions

In terms of travel, I usually have some trips on the horizon but right now nothing booked. I do have some time off over Christmas, and again in March, so I expect we will be somewhere, even if it’s within Japan. We will be visiting Europe next year, but I also have a bit of a hankering for Hawaii at some point! I just ordered a spanking-new USA Lonely Planet that is so heavy you could wedge a door open with it. If you haven’t watched The Dawn Wall on Netflix, please do – as well as the film Free Solo which is absolutely incredible! Both of these films, together with my California trip this year, have sparked a real interest in America, especially the country’s National Parks. There are 61 of them – what a goal it would be to visit them all 🙂

USA lonely planet


I’ll wrap this post up now. It’s 5pm here in Tokyo on a wet and dreary Tuesday. I think for me, today marked the real end of summer as I had to put a coat on when I went outside earlier. But isn’t it amazing to think that the warm weather in Tokyo can last right up until the end of October?

I hope you are all well – and thanks for reading. I have noticed that my blog posts have become more sporadic recently, but I think it is because I don’t just want to do a single post dedicated to a particular cafe or whatever. There are multiple restaurants even within this particular post that I could have written about, but I prefer to give more of a flavour of what life is like here in Tokyo as opposed to focusing on specific shops. Of course, if a ramen restaurant or cafe blows my mind, I will write about it, but for now I think I like this balance of keeping shorter posts for Facebook – and longer blog posts for round-ups and day trips. What do you think?

I always like to hear from readers – so drop a comment below, or connect as usual on Facebook.



❤ IKIMASHO on Facebook


  1. Impertinent Tweed

    Great end of summer post – there’s always a bitter-sweetness about that I think – winter so lovely in its own right over there.
    By contrast we had our first real T-shirt day in Melbourne today – the mildness of Spring signalling an early close.
    The Hagbis event was weird on the outside looking in – kind of an inflated reportage internationally I think. We were genuinely worried for a few of our close friends though – especially those in Saitama. I’ve been planning to do GCANS next April, but the flooding gives a bit of pause! Love your pic of rainy Setagaya – the stillness and the greenery brimming up on all sides. Blog wise, I like the short bursts to FB, and the more ruminant quality of the posts here. Enjoy the transition to winter! T.

  2. Thanks man – and enjoy the tshirt weather, I will be jealous of that in a few weeks I just know it! And also – I have never done GCANS myself but I have been wanting to for a few years now. If you’re game (and schedules allow) let’s touch base about it next year and maybe we can do it together. I know you gotta book it a month in advance.

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