Trains & city things

When we lived in Tokyo, the sound of trains was the sonic background of my day. I loved the different rumbles and rattles, the subtle Doppler effect as they travelled past, and the consistent, constant, regular schedule of sound.

There’s nothing like that in the countryside and I didn’t realise how much I missed it until this morning. Tod & I came into town for a night and we stayed in a hotel adjacent to Iidabashi station. This morning when I woke too early, I fell back asleep after the first trains started running. It was delightful.

Keeping myself company as I worked at the hotel.

After checking-out, I spent the most of the day wandering the city. A lot has changed since we left; there are new buildings and businesses, of course. But there is also a sense of dark energy and desperation that I hadn’t noticed as much when we lived in Tokyo, probably because I was swimming in it myself.

Everywhere you look is a shiny patina of bright light and happiness. But it’s gift wrapped in consumption and struggle to attain, whether the goal is food, advice, or new shoes.

I am certainly not the only one to recognise this; it’s not even a revelation to myself. But having been away for so long, it was striking. Like when you don’t see your godson for a year and suddenly he’s almost as tall as you are.

We return home this evening and I will feel great relief at getting away from the high, dark energy of the city, but I will miss the trains.

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