Tokyo - no denying that it is the Heart of Japan - and like a giant heart Tokyo has arteries (the roads, trains,and subways leading in & out, and all about the city). It also has life-blood (the people, the shops, activities that make it so alive). It has a beat - you can hear it if you listen - people hustling about, shouts of irrashaimase,& the pulse of all those people crowded into your train car or jostling you on the street. And of course, it has spirit! It even has what some may call & heart attacks. Just read the news; you can find attacks happening every day. Like the lady who couldn't take her husband's abuse any more so she cracked his head with a bottle then cut him up into pieces and distributed the pieces around the city. Or the bullies who pick on their schoolmates to the point where those who are bullied decide that suicide is better than living with the pain of bullying. But, despite the attacks, it remains an exciting, vibrant, blood-rushing, brain invigorating city to be in. When I first thought of a title for this Weblog I almost called it Tokyo Magnet, because like a giant magnet Tokyo pulls you in - and sometimes - repulses you. The boys and girls from the countryside of Japan are pulled in, but when the summer holiday of Obon or the New Year holiday rolls around the city "repulses" them and they flock back to their furusato (hometowns) to visit family and friends and relax in the countryside that they now miss - and then a few days later can't wait to get away from again. The foreigners who live here - at least those with an expat package - pulse out like flocks of birds in the summer for that inevitable trip home, wherever that may be, but after a few weeks (sometimes only days) back "home" the Tokyo Heart's Magnet starts pulling them back. Many who leave here after a few years working stint find that the pull of that magnet is so strong that they just have to find a way to get back here once again - some to the point of changing companies and careers for another opportunity to live in this city of millions; millions of hearts making one great Tokyo Heart and causing jaded people-hearts to beat along with it to the great pulse of the city. As a heart is made up of different chambers, so too is Tokyo. There are myriad chambers in the city, each with it's own separate pulse; some slow, some fast, some changing beats every day. Some may say the central chamber is the financial district of Marunouchi. Others would say that Shibuya is the strongest pulsing chamber in this great City Heart, and still others would swear that without Roppongi the Tokyo Heart would wither & die. Yet there are others who prefer the chambers on the edges, where the trees grow green, the parks are full of walkers, joggers, bikers, and dogs dressed to match their owners prance along on their daily walks. Stay tuned & read about some of these chambers - near & far - as this Weblog grows. Ask questions, tell me what you want to know and read about, and learn more about what keeps the Tokyo Heart alive & beating.
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