Although your travel plans may stop, you can pretend to be somewhere new for the night. Worldwide at home Invites you to channel the feeling of a new place each week with recommendations to explore the culture, from the comfort of your home.
A few years ago, I walked through the neon-lit streets of Tokyo for the first time, wide-eyed and jet-lagged. It took only three days to learn some of the city’s mysteries. If you can’t find the perfect noodle shop for lunch, for example, look up and you’ll see a dozen options that you thought were filling the upper floors. Or that famous place – like Shibuya CrossingThe intersections you’ve seen in 100 timelaps – are famous for a reason, but there’s a lot to learn by picking up metro stops at random and taking long walks.
It was supposed to be a big year for tourism for the city – already the most visited in the world – as it was now scheduled to host Olympics postponed And Paralympic Games. Of course, this did not happen.
Most of the world is still confined to their homes, so traveling to Tokyo will have to wait for the millions who canceled flight and hotel bookings. Meanwhile, there are ways to capture the sometimes charming, always charming city spirit. Perhaps, for just one night, these recommendations can make you feel as if you are there.
Listen to the city
I first met Kazuto Okawa, who performs under the name llll, My first night in Tokyo outside a convenience store in the quaint neighborhood of Koenji. He was sitting on a curb in a circle of friends, his face obscured by long, unkempt hair. In the years following that first encounter, his music – a mix of sugary pop hooks and space-age sounds – has become synonymous with the city for me. If every visitor to Tokyo can have conflicting feelings of disorientation and joy, translated for sound, This will happen.
When I asked Mr. Okawa what music his house liked best, he directed me to the classics. Musician Keigo Oyamada, better known as Cornelius, Sometimes referred to as the “Japanese bake” for the way he easily swoops between genres. Every album is a journey, but to develop the most of the city, Mr. Okawa suggested his 1995 album “69/96.“” This is the future forever, “he said.” A perfect match for Tokyo. “
If Cornelius is too out for you, Mr. Okawa advises “Kazamachi Roman” Happy End by the pioneers of Tokyo folk rock: You can recognize that great tribute from the soundtrack to a song for Tokyo, “lost in Translation. “
To understand Tokyo’s J-pop scene, Mr. Okawa calls for Sheena Ringo to begin with “Kabuchiko no jou. “” It captures the dark side of the city, “he said.” And it happens to be one of the most popular J-pop songs of all time. “For the flip side of the same pop coin – maybe it’s a more lively summer night. Is what you’re trying to recreate – the appropriate title of Taiko Ohunuki “Sunlight. “
Cook on the dinner table
No trip to Tokyo is complete without eating out. Although it can be difficult to make a bona fide Tokyo Bowl of Raman or Sushi Thali, there are many things you can do at home.
To include something more and seasonally appropriate, Mokoko Rich, follow the lead of the Times’ Tokyo bureau chief. “With the weather getting colder, it’s time for Shabu Shabu to crack the butane burner, a classic Japanese dinner that you can cook and eat right on the table,” she said.
First, savor the broth with a kombu dashi, dried kelp, then take the beef, tofu, vegetables and mushrooms and dip them in the bubbling liquid, making sure to linger longer in the ingredients that cook them. “Although we can cook Shabu Shabu at home, it also reminds me of a mid-20th-century restaurant in Tokyo, where servers wear kimonos and put regal plates on the table.” Ms. Rich’s advice This recipe From Just One Cookbook.
Expand your literary horizons
If you want to deal with a good book and lose yourself in Tokyo, we have a lot of recommendations, be it A long work of imagination Are you after or more snackable Short stories. There is more – A. very more than Haruki Murakami. Ms. Rich’s advice “Breast and Eggs” By Meiko Kawakami. “I think the way Kawakami is real and recognizable, but not foreign, refers to Tokyo places,” she said. “You feel it, knowing it, read it, rather than being introduced to a precious world. It is in Tokyo because it lives in a film set. “
See city on screen
If you have an evening of TV and subtitles, who do you start with Binge “Midnight Dinner: Tokyo StoriesOn Netflix. The show is about customers who pass through a small counter-service restaurant, which is open only from midnight to 6. It is shocking, hilarious and sad, it is a moving picture of Tokyo after dark. If the opening title sequence doesn’t make you feel good, check your pulse: it’s Asmr For the soul.
When it comes to MoviesAs Mike Hale, a Times’ television critic, stated, “Tokyo is simultaneously the most cosmopolitan and most intense local city you can imagine, and it is a perfect combination for storytelling, as from Kurosawa Directors from Kiaomi to Sofia Coppola have shown. “
Then where to start? Can’t leave you Akira Kurosawa, An influential filmmaker whose career took nearly six decades. Mr. Jha recommended “Stray Dog” (1949)Shot in Tokyo after World War II. He describes it as a “walking tour of the city in sheer survival mode”. Try next “Tokyo Drifter” (1966) By Seijun Suzuki. “Suzuki’s stylized Yakub story sets the traditional themes of honor and corruption against the distillery distillery of a jazzy, jagged, rapidly changing city,” he said. Finally, for something more contemporary, see Cannes Pam D’Or-Winning “Shopkeepers” (2018) By Hirokaju Kore-eda. In Mr. Hale’s view, the film, about a family of Griffers, “shows both the modern metropolis and the shadow world beyond neon.”
Get lost in the virtual world
While Japan may be the most internationally renowned video gaming figure An Italian Plumber with Mushroom FlavorBrian Ashcraft, Osaka’s senior writer on the Gaming Mario website, has a lot more games in real-life Tokyo than Super Mario Bros. Kotaku, The extender recommends the series “Yakuza”, which follows Kazuma Kiryu as he makes his name in the underworld. Yakuza games are full of action, but they are also downright silly, with dance battles, karaoke sessions and laughable dialogues. “All events and trips to Tokyo this year are being canned as a result,” Mr. Escroft said. “Yakuza games do a wonderful job of making parts of the city come alive. These obsessive, digital entertainment mimics the idea of Tokyo. For me, it’s good enough. “