Not Just Another Shinjuku Love Hotel

“Not Just Another Shinjuku Love Hotel” is a love letter of sorts. A glimpse into my now, not-so-secret love affair. I never meant to fall in love with Japan. With the order, the crows and the neatly piled up rubbish. I do see the women who quietly weep on the trains, the inequity, ingrained misogyny, the size shaming and excessive drinking. I see the Animal Rights abuse, abandonment of elders and disabled people and the excessive demands placed on salarymen who are literally worked to death. But I love the light, the order, the extremes, the tradition, the innovations, the toilets, the trains, the ceremony, the smells, the precision, the honor, and of course, the egg sandwiches. It is a country of contradictions: empty baseball fields and overstuffed trains, coin locker babies and Ramen Kings. As I write this it has been too many days since I was last in Japan. I closely guard my incense that was created for the Emperor. I dream of the ground floor of Takashimaya, the insanity of Don Quixote and the ecstasy of finding the Higashi-Shinjuku exit at rush hour. I long for the taste of tsukemono and the unexplainable silence.

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