I still remember clearly the first time I took a step in the city of Tokyo: Coming from a hundred people town in the middle of nowhere in Tuscany’s countryside, walking in an endless city with huge skyscrapers and through thousands of people not even caring about your presence has been a fascinating yet confusing experience, and a huge impact under any aspect. I was so confused at first I didn’t even know if I liked all of that greatness surrounding me: After years of drooling on pictures and videos of this endless and beautiful city, I was finally there, alone with a feeling that couldn’t stop tricking my mind during the first three days in the Japanese capital.
But passion is way stronger than your mind’s tricks, and in a matter of days, also thanks to the company of a girl living there, everything disappeared in the blink of an eye. From that moment on, wether I was alone or not, I was genuinely happy and free like I have never been in my life before, despite all the people not even looking at you in the streets, the employees acting like robots, or a bartender talking to you for half an hour in Kirin City that you’ll never see again: In Tokyo you are never alone. Because if it’s not people who’s keeping you company, the City is always on your side to maintain that bond made of genuine love and appreciation. And while it’s surely beautiful to wander alone, the most fun is obviously when you’re with people sharing your same passions and interests, in hidden places that seem appositely made for you.
During Christmas Day on my second trip, after the final epic date of Perfume’s Dome Tour, I decided to go alone for dinner and then chill at the hotel for a while, to relax a moment and decide what to do later. But time passed, and at 1:00am, right before I was going to sleep, I received a message from a friend of mine who asked me to join him in a Perfume party in Shinjuku, just near my hotel. I accepted immediately saying “Fuck it, I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, dressed up, and in a minute I was out in the cold of the Tokyo night. Once I met with him, we reached the place where the party already started: It was an underground place, and after we entered and walked down the stairs, we reached a room with a bar, a small dance floor, and about fifteen people; There was a DJ playing Perfume’s songs and also videos on all the walls, for a pretty calm but cool atmosphere, but in just an half an hour the situation got way hotter as more DJs joined the party and the volume started to go high. Long story short, I ended up half drunk dancing with people I never knew, laughing and singing like there was no tomorrow, and as grand finale, most of them took positions and started dancing Akihabalove in perfect synchronization, and seeing them having so much fun and sharing the same passion and love for this group has been an exciting and wonderful sight: It’s pure and genuine fun, and yes, everything is full of love.
Another funny episode happened in a rock bar in Shibuya called Rockaholic, where you can sit down, have a drink and request songs to the DJ, while rock and metal music literally blast your ears. But probably due to the alcohol (it’s a constant, but never a necessity), around 11pm everyone is so drunk that the madness explodes and everyone just start to jump, cry and hug everyone, for whatever reason, but it’s so beautiful you don’t even want to wonder why. I went back there alone once and still had a blast, chatted with a girl for a while and failed in getting her twitter contact, literally drank and screamed like a mad man with the guys at the bar and knew an US army dude outside, where we talked about life and our futures.
I never saw all of these people again, but instead of being sad about it. I believe that’s what makes these experiences so special: Because while I’m here miles away from them writing alone in this room and aware they all probably forgot about me, they’re still part of the reason why I travel to Japan, wether I’m alone or not. Because little experiences make great memories when combined all together.
And while me and my friends are partying in underground bars, everyone above us is walking towards their homes, or to a host club, or feeling alone crying in a corner… But whatever those people are doing, we’re there, under all of them having the time of our lives. Like a world inside a world, like a secret place where to share our love and have fun, while the entire city outside keeps its eyes on everyone and takes care of us at the same time, like a mother with her child.
Not matter who you are or what you do, there’s always a place for you in this city. And it’s where no one can see you… Under the streets of Tokyo.