I've a long-lasting love for Tokyo; I've been there many times. It's old, it's new, always regenerating itself. It's exhilarating, it's frightening, it's fascinating, gargantuan yet microcosmic. Alone among millions - - lost but, paradoxically, never alone. it's just..... well, Tokyo.
Here's the thing. Ever since I took my first ride on the Arakawa Toden streetcar back in 1993, an ultra-green gaijin, I've remained fascinated by the streetcar's strange allure. Dumped off the bus at Ueno, I managed to navigate my way through the Tokyo labyrinth to the Toden. How? I'll never know.... perhaps it was the udon and Kirin fortification.
the mysterious smells
of old neighborhoods
One of Tokyo's last two remaining streetcars, the Toden travels a 12.2 km route back and forth through 30 stops, from Waseda to Minowabashi. The route traverses older parts of the city, areas overlooked by most tourists who search elsewhere for excitement. But, for me, each stop along the way presents a unique microcosm of Tokyo life the way it was, is, and is constantly evolving to be.
it starts where it ends
somehow each day
it ends where it starts
on the poets grave
Guess I've made and haiku-chronicled about half the stops. I'd like to return again, ride those rails once more, back and forth, do the rest of them.....ahh, maybe in the afterlife.
as worn as the rails
he hums a sad melody...
end of the line
Mark Meyer is a septuagenarian artist, writer, & former research biologist who resides in the middle of a lake in Washington State. He enjoys a great fondness for dogs, guitars, & scotch. His artwork & poetry have somehow managed to get around here and there. Mark Meyer's ”Under a Pale Moon,” read and published on White Enso's Kaidankai (a podcast of ghost and supernatural stories), was a finalist for the Rhysling Award.