walk in a fluorescent Tokyo

The author takes us on a stroll through the Japanese capital. A charming book.

We are on the same planet, and yet. We are elsewhere. We are in Tokyo.” Thus opens June Fujiwara’s charming book. Here we are in another country where the ground is so clean that it shines. There, the author has huge eyes; she rediscovers this capital that she lived in twenty years ago.

There are konbini, these stores open 24 hours a day, and stations, like Shinjuku where there are 36 platforms and 200 exits. The author acts as a guide. It takes us into the heart of the city and onto its heights, 240 meters above the ground. Tokyo dances before his eyes. And then, it’s nighttime, Tokyo becomes fluorescent, we wait for hours in front of restaurants, we eat noodles.

Each chapter reads like a playlet, with its characters and Japanese words. June Fujiwara has that familiar tone that a friend would have with her reader. She wonders about her life, these places which still exist since her departure. The ride becomes a dream. An immersive book.

The Perfect Tokyoite, by June Fujiwara, Les Arènes, 220 p., €15.

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