Sunday, July 16, 2006

Tokyo wa yoru no shichi-ji

"Tokyo wa yoru no shichi-ji (the night is still young)" is the name of a J-pop song from back in the day. The band is called Pizzicato Five; you can groove to the video here, thanks to YouTube.

The reason that I bring this up is that the title means, "In Tokyo, it's 7:00 PM", which, if you ask me, is when Tokyo is at its best on a summer day. It just so happened that last night, I was leaving the dentist's office at about 18:30. Ginza is a pretty cool place to be any time, I guess, but 18:30 last night was almost magical. It was just before dusk, and the oppressive heat of midday had retreated just enough to make being outside comfortable, like a warm blanket draped around your shoulders. The crowds of shoppers that had been swarming all over Ginza since early afternoon were almost gone, and it was still too early for the club-hoppers and other denizens of the night to be out. There wasn't much traffic, either, so Ginza was strangely quiet. Add a sun slowly setting through the omnipresent haze of pollution, and you have a brilliant moment.

Getting off the train at Maihama, I was once again treated to one of Tokyo's elusive glimpses of heart-breaking beauty. Tokyo is a big city, and is afflicted with all the numerous unpleasantries that go with urbanity: unpleasant smells, a constant cacophony of noise as people, cars, and giant television screens compete for your attention, and so on. But every once and awhile, the city gives you a brief reward for putting up with its shit, and just such a reward was long overdue.

As I exited Maihama Station's north exit, the sun was setting off to my left, staining the sky a brilliant pink / orange, while the elevated highway climbed to meet it. Truly a breathtaking view, and I am only sorry that I did not have my camera on me (though I suppose I could have snapped a low-res picture with my keitai that would not have done the scene justice).

1 comment:

Bill said...

Thanks for writing this five years ago.