A walk through my old neighborhood in the area around Ebisu revealed:
The bakery and cafe that I used to go to at least once a week was no longer the same place – it was renovated. It is still a bakery, but has too much furniture, and the inside has become darker. What used to be seating space with floor-to-ceiling windows has become a serving counter, with reduced seating, and doesn’t feel as open.
The curry place that I used to go to is no longer in business. It was run by an art dealer who had books and parts of his wares on display. Even the door is a wooden door from Morocco.
It was a weekday afternoon. Office hours, but there were still a lot of people on the street. I remembered what my roommate from Australia said at the hostel – there are so many people just walking around, alone. They do not look like they are on the way someplace. They do not look like they are buying anything. They are just walking around, and they are not smiling. They don’t look happy.
“Go to the country-side.” I told him. “Tokyo is its own thing. The countryside is different.”
Sunset in Ebisu garden place, I stood on the second-floor terrace looking west to the sun, bright orange against a cloudless sky. I became aware of someone standing behind me. It was a man of about 60 in an Ebisu garden place uniform. he was sweeping, but had stopeed to look at the sunset, too. In a sea of buildings wrought by man, the sun is a reminder of the vastness of space and time.
I went to the top of the Ebisu Garden Place Tower, and found that the chairs that were on the 38th floor, where one could sit, read, or take a nap, are gone. One less place to take repose. But, I had my view of the city to the west, and of the sunset.