Words and photos by Levi Walton
After losing my 9-5 job a couple months ago, I went online looking for flights to Tokyo, Japan.
I’d always wanted to go, so I figured since I had nothing else to do, why not? To my surprise, I found a flight from JFK to Tokyo for $488 bucks. My cheap ass just had to take that offer. This implied a whopping 12-hour layover in Beijing, and most probably a really bad seat I wouldn’t get to pick out for myself. Stil, it was under $500 bucks.
I bought a Pentax 67 off of a Craigslist dude and off I went.
On my first night, I got drunk at a locals-only karaoke bar in Nishi-Ogikubo (shout out to Yuta for the hookup). All you can drink kind of joint—the kind old lady tending bar just kept the scotch and soda’s flowing. I passed out on top of a 7/11 bento box in my bed.
I took a cooking class, had conveyor belt sushi and saw Mount Fuji while painfully hungover. I was quiet on the train and stayed on the left side of the stairs. I got drunk three times, with three groups of people, some of who I stay in touch with.
I made friends through Instagram who let me take their portraits, which I’m so grateful for. I got to see the sunrise from Senso-Ji temple—an experience that made me a better man, cleared my skin, reverted my male pattern baldness and fixed my cracked phone screen. I petted a tiny Shiba puppy.
I ate chicken butt with a group of rather sceptical travellers. It was good and had a fatty texture—kind of like eating pork.
I went to the Robot Restaurant—an incredible experience akin to the best version of a Bushwick warehouse party. I brought back my own weight in Japanese candy (a cliché I know).
Tokyo was incredible—the people, the food, the hospitality. Can’t wait to see the rest of Japan.