There are certain cities in the world that you can never leave. You may physically leave, but you know that there is something in your heart and your soul that has changed forever. Perhaps there is an irretrievable part of you that you have left behind. Or there is a part of the city that you take with you always. It has incorporated itself into your DNA.

For me to experience this feeling, it needs to be a tremendous, complex, encompassing city. It is a city that nourishes as much as it takes away. It is a city that only very slowly reveals itself to you. Little by little. Always leaving you longing, searching. It is a city that in some ways can present itself as so simple and obvious and yet at the same time be so richly layered and intricate. The relationship with such a city, is much like a mysterious, intoxicating, heady love affair.

For me, Tokyo is such a city. Maybe, it is because I grew up in this city. Or because when I lived there, I was young and willingly vulnerable and open.

It had been years since I left Tokyo in my late teens. So much distance had passed, that even though I often reminisced of the life, the food, the experiences that I had, the depth of my feelings had dulled. Then this past November, I went back for just a brief five days. Barely enough for even a quick taste, but just enough to trigger the rush of all the emotions I once felt. The smell of the air. The deep purplish blue hue of the sky at dusk, just when all the neon signs and buildings are suddenly lit. The overwhelming feeling of infinite possibilities. The orange glow of Tokyo Tower against the evening sky. The young couple walking hand in hand oblivious to all the hustle and bustle around them. The energy and excitement bubbles over. Today you may discover something new and wonderful.... Or you may simply find yourself enwrapped by the comfort of something very familiar.

It's a dismal, melancholy day in Los Angeles today. Mist and endless drizzle have saturated the air with a cold dampness. The gray sky feels alien and barren. I stare out the window of my apartment wistfully lost in my memories of Tokyo, full of longing and ache, but I cannot or would not want any other way.

Midtown - Roppongi

Issey Miyake and Tadao Ando's collaboration
21_21 Design Sight

Takashi Kuribayashi's Wald aus Wald Installation (2010) at Mori Museum, Roppongi

Buri - Standing Sake Bar in Ebisu

Yakitori-ya in Azabu Juban
Tempura and handmade soba in Mitsukoshi (12th Floor), Ginza

Tsukiji Fish Market at dawn

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