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Full Circle

Day 35: Tokyo

Michael Palin - Full CircleA six-lane elevated expressway runs down the centre of the road outside my hotel. A few hundred yards away it broadens to accommodate an intersection 30 feet above the ground. The concrete walls that support this massive structure are decorated with huge colour photographs of the countryside.

It doesn't fool anybody. Tokyo is a massive, unapologetically pragmatic modern conurbation. It is a hectic, hurtling city where everything is on the move except the traffic. Into each tall, implausibly narrow building are squeezed a dozen businesses: hairdressers, massage parlours, jacuzzis, restaurants, night clubs, health clubs, strip clubs and book stores. It's something of a relief to find that the place Mayumi takes me to first is an exception to the rule - a single storey building on a corner. It's a restaurant called The Dojo Nabe which has been doing business on the same spot for one hundred and eighty years.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 35
  • Country/sea: Japan
  • Place: Tokyo
  • Book page no: 58

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