I'm finally back in the Bay Area after a five week jaunt from Indian Wells, Miami, and then to Tokyo to visit my sister for a week. It was another long stretch of 2011 wherein I lived out of my suitcase, relying on the generosity of others. Thanks others! You were so generous!
Anyway, this isn't a travel blog so I'll make this short and sweet. Tokyo was absolutely amazing. Just...everything about it was fascinating. The Japanese are such a strong, noble, classy, no-nonsense people. Of course as tennis fans, we already know this. Kimiko's got more class and grit in her cute little haircut than both tours combined. Kei, I was totally rooting for you, dude. And Ayumi...sometimes you remind me of my kid sister and it makes me happy.
All this is to say, go to Tokyo if you get the chance. It's pretty much ridiculously safe. I was there on the 31st floor of a residential high-rise during the 7.4 aftershock and seriously, the building creaked a bit and that was it. Nothing fell, no pets were harmed, and 30 minutes later, I went back to sleep. Considering the fact that Loma Prieta (the 1989 Bay Area quake) was a smaller quake and like, freeways collapsed and San Francisco was on fire, Tokyo's preparedness was pretty fucking amazing. Besides, refusing to go to Tokyo these days because of safety concerns is like refusing to go to San Francisco after an earthquake hits Fresno.
I'm not saying go to Sendai with your surfboard or head up to Fukushima and ask for a tour of the reactor core or anything. But Tokyo itself is fine and so worth going to. I was there for a week and I still felt like there was so much more to see. Mind-blowing food, fantastic cafes, and three-story secret bars that only accomodate 10 people. How could any of that suck?
So yeah. Everybody chill out about Tokyo. I'm already scrounging pennies in order to try and finance a trip in September for the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
Last, I will share with you this tennis-nerd idiocy. I was walking around the city with my sister:
Me: This intersection looks familiar.
Sister: Oh, it's pretty famous. There are pictures of it everywhere.
Me: No...I don't think I've seen a picture of it.
Me: Oh. Nevermind.
Me: Nothing. Well, there's a video of Ana Ivanovic crossing this intersection. That's where I saw it.