The Raglan Road of Tokyo

On Gaien Higashi Dori

Life from the Raglan Road of Tokyo

Thursday, October 23

How to Make a Toad Disappear

The Autumn sun came bearing gifts to Tokyo today, making the city feel all happy and new, and I took the opportunity to do some good old-fashioned skiving off work. Of which I am very proud.

As I was making my daily trip to my little spot in my little office, I found myself thinking of the first two lines of a poem that has been in my head for many years now, by the English poet Philip Larkin:

"Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life"

Taking the great man's sentiment to heart, I made up an excuse Tony Blair would have been proud of and escaped the confines of my toady computer, lolling off into the afternoon sun of a shiny, bright and relatively underpopulated Shinjuku, shopping for books, taking photos on my phone, and generally having one of those "good to be alive" days. I felt like a kid who had just got the last sticker needed to fill the old Panini World Cup sticker book. I don't think I've had that much unassuming euphoria just walking around a city since my Edinburgh days.

Just when you think Lady Tokyo has nothing left for you, she surprises you, luring you back easily into her power.

posted by setsunai 9:37 PM Comments
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Gaien Higashi Dori means Outer Gardens (of the Meiji Shrine) Ave. East. It is one of the beautiful big leafy avenues that winds through the center of Tokyo.

Raglan Road is a poem and song about love and loss by one of the finest Irish poets of the twentieth century, Patrick Kavanagh.